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As Minnesota's economy grows stronger, access to safe and affordable homes builds the foundation for living, working, and learning in all communities. Yet rising rents and falling renter incomes in most counties leave many renters struggling to make ends meet.

Even working Minnesotans often lack good housing options, and aging homes create health and energy concerns, find the 2014 County Profiles.

Find your county's profile by navigating the menu. 

Summary Findings

Rising rents and falling incomes squeeze renters

  • In all but three of Minnesota's counties, on average renters were worse off in 2008-12 compared to 2000 in their ability to afford housing. The combination of rising rents and falling incomes is responsible for this change.
  • For the state as a whole, median rent increased by 6%, and median renter income fell by 17% between 2000 and 2008-12, after adjusting for inflation.
  • About half of the state's renters pay more than 30% of their income for housing, which is considered to be unaffordable by HUD. For low-income families, this housing cost burden is even higher.
  • Working full time at the median income for their occupation, food preparation workers and retail salespeople cannot afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment in any county across Minnesota.The shortage in affordable rental housing is severe
  • In 98% of counties (or 85 out of 87), there is a shortage of apartments affordable and available to extremely low income renters in need of housing.
  • Almost half of those 85 counties would need to at least double their affordable rental housing stocks to meet the housing needs of extremely low income renters.

Children and seniors are among those at risk of homelessness

  • An estimated 14,000 Minnesotans were homeless on a given night in 2012. About half of homeless people are children and youth under the age of 21.
  • Seniors were among the fastest growing segments of the state's homeless population between 2009 and 2012.
  • By 2012, 15% of children were living in poverty statewide. In 2002, only 9% were living in poverty.
  • When a family is forced to choose between paying for housing, food, or medical care, children are less able to properly grow, develop, and perform well in school.

Many home owners still struggling

  • As a state, Minnesota has the nation's largest racial homeownership gap. 77% of white, non-Hispanic households own a home, compared to 41% of households of color.
  • The median sales price for non-foreclosed homes was $180,000 in 2013 in Minnesota, which is a real decrease of 22% since 2006.
  • 1 in 4 owners pay more than what they can afford for housing.

The housing stock is aging

  • More than a third of Minnesota's housing units are 50 years old or older. In many Greater Minnesota counties, a majority of the stock is this old or older.
  • Aging homes create health and energy concerns and can have very high heating costs.

For more information, contact Leigh Rosenberg at 651-925-5543 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.