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MN housing: Poor struggle despite recovery

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New data show an improving economy is beginning to benefit the state's homeowners, but those at the bottom of the economic ladder continue to experience financial distress. 

The latest report from the non-profit Minnesota Housing Partnership looked at data for the last three months of 2012. 

There were bright spots: Foreclosures and pre-foreclosure notices were down; home prices rose by 16 percent over the same time in 2011. 

But as home prices rose, so did rents. And the rising rents and low rental inventory created more housing instability for people. The problem was acute for low-income Minnesotans. 

A record number of families and children became homeless at the end of last year. In the Duluth public school system, 31 percent more children were homeless at the end of last year over the year before.

Housing advocates say more needs to be done to prevent homelessness and to help low-income renters.