Report: More middle-income renters burdened by housing costs

Blue Line Flats, an affordable housing complex in south Minneapolis.
Blue Line Flats, an affordable housing complex in south Minneapolis. A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found there's been a significant increase in middle-income renters who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.
Max Nesterak | MPR News 2018

Many moderate-income people in the Twin Cities and across the country are finding it harder to pay their rent.

According to a new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, there's been a significant increase in middle-income renters who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

In the Twin Cities, a quarter of renter households making $45,000 to $75,000 are now in that position.

“When you look at the trend for Minneapolis, these rates are increasing at a very fast pace,” said Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, the report's lead author. “It could be a combination of the supply that's available, as well as the changing distribution of renters overall and how they're competing for units against each other.”

A household is considered cost-burdened if housing expenses exceed 30 percent of income.

Airgood-Obrycki said more high-income people are renting, which can drive down vacancy rates and push up prices.

“We’re seeing this creeping up of cost burdens up the income ladder, she said. “In Minneapolis, new construction is primarily focused on the higher end of the market and we're also seeing the number of lower-rent units steadily declining over time.

It's much worse for local renter households earning less than $30,000. Most of them pay more than half their income for housing.


Watch: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey talks on the city’s housing costs with director of Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

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