Out of Reach 2022

When families pay too much for rent, they’re forced to sacrifice to make ends meet — cutting back at the grocery store or delaying a trip to the doctor. Out of Reach is report released annually by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and provides rental affordability data for every state, metro area, and county in the US. You can read the full 2022 report here.

MHP’s Minnesota snapshot of the 2022 Out of Reach report highlights state and county trends that reveal that households in every corner of Minnesota are spending thousands of dollars more than they can afford each year just to pay the rent for a modest apartment. Now more than ever, as evidenced by the rippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing security is central to overall health and well-being.

Some Minnesota highlights from the 2022 report include:

  • The Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment in Minnesota is $1,165. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $3,883 monthly or $46,616 annually.
  • Minnesota ranks #24 in the nation for the highest wages required to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment: The wage required to afford a modest two- bedroom apartment in Minnesota is the most expensive in the Midwest, including $3.85 higher than the Wisconsin housing wage, and $5.80 higher than North Dakota’s housing wage.  

“HOUSING WAGE” — Wage necessary to afford a two-bedroom apartment

  • The housing wage represents what Minnesota workers need to earn to afford rent without paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing. In 2022, a Minnesotan would need to earn an annual income of $46,616 to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. 
  • Compared to the state average of $22.41, the housing wage in non-metro areas is $15.76 for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • The highest housing wage in the state is located in the counties within the greater Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area, at $25.56 per hour — or earning an annual salary of $53,160 — to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Rent affordable to median-income renter

  • For the median-income renter household in Minnesota, an affordable rent — one that does not exceed 30 percent of a household’s monthly income — is $1,158 per month.
  • Median-income renters in Carver County can afford the highest rent in the state at $1,437 per month. 
  • Median-income renters in Itasca County can only afford $611 per month, the lowest level in the state. 
  • In contrast to the $1,158 affordable to the median-income renter at the statewide level, the median-income renter household in non-metro Minnesota can afford far less — just $893 per month.

What lowest income Minnesotans can afford (30% AMI)

  • The lowest income households in Minnesota can afford just $792 per month in rent. Statewide, there is a $145 monthly gap between what a household at 30 percent of area median income earns and what would be required to pay for a modest one-bedroom apartment. Even efficiencies are out of reach; a household earning 30 percent of AMI would need to earn $1,109 more per year to afford a modest zero-bedroom apartment.
  • The Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area contains the highest gap between fair market rent and what households earning under 30 percent of AMI can afford; these households would need to earn approximately $7,660 more per year to afford fair market rent for a one bedroom apartment.

Hours at minimum wage to afford 1 bedroom apartment

  • A minimum wage earner in Minnesota must work more than 43 hours a week in every county in the state to be able to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment. Statewide, a one-bedroom apartment costs $400 more per month, or $4,800 annually, than a minimum wage earner can afford.
  • In non-metro areas, minimum wage workers must work 48 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment, and 61 hours per week for a two-bedroom. 
  • Minimum wage workers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area must work 80 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment and 99 hours per week for a two-bedroom — the highest number of hours for major metropolitan areas in the state.

Many top in-demand jobs earn less than the housing wage, including critically needed healthcare jobs

  • Home health and personal care aides, one of Minnesota’s most in demand occupations, do not earn enough to afford a one bedroom at fair market rent. The median hourly wage, for over 108,800 people working in this field, falls short by $6,466 annually to afford a modest one bedroom apartment.
  • Four of the top ten in demand jobs in Minnesota do not pay enough to afford a modest one bedroom apartment, and eight of the top ten occupations do not pay enough to afford a modest two bedroom apartment. 


Out of Reach data is available for every county and metro area in the country. Click here to see how Minnesota counties compare with each other.

You can view MHP’s full 2019 Minnesota Out of Reach report here.