Contact: Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director : 218-248-5963  kuoppala@mnhomelesscoalition.org

March 13, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Not Making Ends Meet

National Report Finds Housing Unaffordable in Minnesota

St. Paul – Minnesota has the highest rent-to-wage gap in the Midwest, according to a new study. Today, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, and Minnesota Housing Partnership jointly released the Out of Reach 2012 report.

Out of Reach 2012 tracks the affordability of rent and utilities for each state, by county and metro area. According to the report, on average, a worker in Minnesota would have to work full-time, every week of the year at $15.50 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The average renter earns $12.17 per hour in Minnesota.

  • Affordable housing is defined as 30% or less of a person’s income. Families that spend 30% or more on housing have far less disposable income for other necessities like food and transportation.
  • According to the Minnesota Housing Partnership, approximately 54% of Minnesota renters pay over 30% of their income for housing.
  • A Wilder Research Survey found that 13,100 Minnesotans are homeless. The majority are children and families. At the same time, there are thousands of individuals and families teetering on the brink of homelessness, barely making ends meet.

Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless said, “When families have housing stability, everyone does better. Kids don’t have to worry about whose couch they’ll sleep on that night, parents can focus on work, and have a little extra cash to spend at a local business.”

A bonding bill is moving through the Minnesota legislature that would support construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. It has broad, bipartisan support and is backed by both housing and homeless advocacy organizations.

The Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless is a nonprofit organization that works advocates for policy solutions and resources to end homelessness in Minnesota. The Coalition has over 150 direct service members located throughout the state.

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