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Report: Affordable Minn. home rentals lacking

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Ninety-seven percent of Minnesota counties have a shortage of affordable rental housing, according to a new report from the Minnesota Housing Partnership.

The organization found that in all but three of the state's counties, there are more low-income renters than there are affordable apartments available. 

  "Since the year 2000, rents have risen about 6 percent statewide after you take into account inflation, at the same time that renter incomes have fallen by about 17 percent," said researcher Leigh Rosenberg.

Rents are highest in the metropolitan Twin Cities area, but the report also found that Stearns and Kanabec counties have the least affordable housing available.

"Greater Minnesota is hardly exempt from the problem of inadequate rental housing that's affordable," Rosenberg said. "What there is in many small communities across the state is in poor condition, and in some cases, there's just so little supply available that the rents are very high."

Overall more than a quarter of households in Minnesota rent their property.

Housing is considered affordable if a family spends less than 30 percent of its income on rent.