All over the news are reports about the rental vacancy rate in the Twin Cities hovering around 2%. When a "balanced" market is considered to have vacancy rates of 5%, this current metro situation translates to a tight rental market. But what about the rest of state? Across Minnesota, we are seeing indications that the supply of rental housing is not keeping up with demand, for all but very high income households. The problem is particularly serious in Greater Minnesota communities experiencing robust job growth.
An uneven recovery is unfolding in Minnesota five years after the housing collapse, according to a joint Minnesota Housing Partnership - Minnesota 2020 study. While a modest recovery is under way for middle- and upper-income homeowners, there's been virtually no recovery for those with more limited means, especially renters.
This week MN2020 and MHP hosted three press conferences highlighting the report findings and the continuing fallout of the foreclosure crisis and Great Recession on housing in Minnesota communities.
Wednesday's press conference featured Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools Superintendents, Dr. Bernadeia Johnson and Valeria Silva, who urged lawmakers to support $100 million in bonding for affordable housing.
The March Minnesota Housing board meeting included a summary of the Agency's 2013 investments by income and race, by strategic priority, and by geography. It also included state and federal legislative updates, approval of the 2015 tax credit allocation plan and approval of a multi-agency plan to stabilize the Duluth Seaway Apartments.
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.