Minnesota residents turn to motels to avoid homelessness

Officials from an eastern Minnesota county say there's been a surge of people on the brink of homelessness turning to motels for long-term shelter.

The Pioneer Press reports that Ramsey County has seen a 22 percent spike in people who are homeless this year. The number of families who've stayed in hotels long-term has doubled, and there are at least 85 families waiting for space at the county's emergency family shelter.

The Twin Cities' vacancy rate was at 2.4 percent this year, the lowest rate in decades. Rent prices have also increased, with a monthly average of around $1,100.

Carolyn Brown works at Frogtown's Community Stabilization Project, which gives people advice and referrals about housing issues. She says more landlords are opting out of Section 8 housing.

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