ST. PAUL (Sept. 10, 2013) — In a heated housing market, rents in the Twin Cities have been rising at the fastest rate since the early 2000s.
Rents have increased 8.5 percent in the last three years and now average $979 per month, according to the latest “2 x 4” Report by the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP). The report covers the second quarter of 2013.
As the cost of ho using rises, renters with limited incomes are facing an ever more serious shortage of apartments affordable to them. Fully 98 percent of area apartments renting for under $1,000 are already occupied, the report says. Under these tight market conditions, additional rent increases can be expected.
“We are entering a critical period for housing in Minnesota,” stated Chip Halbach, Executive Director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership, “and the risk is that lower income Minnesotans will fall further behind.” He added, “The Twin Cities is a bellwether for the rest of the state, where rental options are already inadequate to meet local needs.”
Another recent report from MHP found that 97 percent of the state’s counties already lack sufficient affordable rental housing to meet local needs.
At the same time as rents are rising, this quarter’s 2×4 Report found, the number of homeless children is also increasing.During the 2013 school year, nearly 10,000 children were identified as being homeless by four major school districts: Duluth, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan.
The report (http://mhponline.org/publications/reports-and-research/2×4-report) underscores the urgent need to invest wisely in rental housing that lower-income Minnesotans can afford.
The national United for Homes Campaign, of which MHP is a part, is one initiative that would help preserve existing affordable housing and create new affordable rental housing opportunities nationwide.
MHP’s “2 x 4” Report graphically depicts 2 sets of indicators for each of 4 key housing areas: the home ownership market, the rental market, homelessness, and the housing industry. Through quarterly updates, the report provides a concise overview of housing challenges facing Minnesota.