The new Census data was released on September 20th, and there's a lot to digest. The good news is that there was a bit more housing affordabillity for owners in 2011, but there are a lot of other findings to motivate housing advocates. The data suggested a growing divide between lower and upper income Minnesotans, and some persistent disparities, especially in home ownership rates. The data, from the American Community Survey, is the best information available about housing affordability for Minnesota and for places with a population of 65,000 and up, including the Twin Cities, Duluth, Mankato, Rochester, and St. Cloud metro areas. So what's in there?
Cost Burden and Severe Cost Burden
A substantial percentage of homeowners in Minnesota are paying more than they should (30% or more of their income) for housing. This amounts were basically unchanged from 2010, but still incredibly high. The cost burdened in Minnesota in 2011 included:
- 50% of renter households (1 in 2) and 27% of owner households (1 in 4)
- and 32% of all households (1 in 3).
For renters, those who are older and younger were at particular risk. 61% of renter households headed by someone 65+, and 58% of those headed by someone under 25 had a cost burden.
As for the households paying half or more of their income for housing, or the severely cost burdened, there was a very slight improvement for owners from 2010 (falling from 10% to 9%), but not for renters. The severely cost burdened included:
- 26% of renter households (1 in 4) and 9% of owner households (1 in 11)
- and 14% of all the state's households (1 in 7).
The home ownership rate came in unchanged from last year at 73%, which is down from the peak of 76% in 2005-2006 at the height of the housing bubble. However, extreme racial disparities persist. Consider how Minnesota ranks nationally among the 50 states:
- 1st for the highest homeownership rate overall.
- 45th for homeownership for African-Americans
- 41st for Latinos
- 36th for Asians
- 34th for Native Americans
The news here is compelling. Since 2006, the percentage of lower-income households facing an unaffordable housing cost burden has grown, whereas that proportion for higher-income households has edged down. See the chart.
We have ACS data for places with a population of 65,000 and up, which includes the Twin Cities, Duluth, St. Cloud, Rochester, and now Mankato metro areas. What jumps out?
- Twin Cities metro rents are the highest. Not much surprise there. The median rent plus utilities was reported at $858.
- 77% of Rochester's households are home owners, making it the Minnesota metro with the highest home ownership rate.
- Housing affordability for renters is no different in any of the metro areas than for the state as a whole, given statistical margins of error.
- Owning a home is more affordable for owners in Mankato, Rochester, and St. Cloud, than for those in the Twin Cities metro.
Last but not least, we wanted to give a special shout out to our friends at the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, and Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness for helping tweet out ACS housing data yesterday!