According to the report, a minimum wage earner in Minnesota would have to work 91 hours per week – or hold 2.3 full time jobs -- to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the state of Minnesota. For the fourth year running, Minnesota has ranked the worst in the Midwest for affordability for minimum wage workers.
The Minnesota Out of Reach 2014 report, released jointly by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and MHP in Minnesota, provides rental affordability data for every state, metro area, and county in the US.
The February Minnesota Housing board meeting included preliminary approval of the 2016 Qualified Allocation Plan, which are the guidelines the Agency uses to rank competitive applications for federal Housing Tax Credits ($12 million to be allocated by MHFA in 2016). Other meeting highlights include approval of the Tribal Nations Consultation Policy as required of all state agencies, announcement of a new fund for energy efficient improvements to single family homes, and announcement of program administrators for increased funding to the Bridges Rental Assistance program which provides temporary rental subsidy payments for persons with a serious mental illness.
A study released last week by the Center for Housing Policy shows modest gains in housing affordability for working households from 2009 - 2012 for many cities and states across the U.S., including Minnesota and the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The report concludes that we must continue to invest in housing production aggressively, to counterbalance rising rents and home prices.
The January Minnesota Housing board meeting included discussion of several new initiatives, including the Minnesota Challenge competition to reduce costs of developing rental housing, as well as a program to help ex-offenders find housing. The board talked through tweaks to current scoring for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, with a more extensive overhaul planned for 2016. The board also approved the Fort Snelling Homeless Veterans project despite higher than expected costs. Finally Commissioner Tingerthal spoke about work with tribes and introduced the new Chief Financial Officer, Rob Tietz.