Report: Wage-rent Gap Increases in Most Areas of MN

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(Learfield News Service) A person working full time at minimum wage can’t afford even a one-bedroom apartment in any of Minnesota’s 87 counties, says the latest report from the Minnesota Housing Partnership.

Spokesman Andy Birkey says a very low vacancy rate has driven up rents, while wages have stagnated or gone down. “One of the reasons why the rent is going up is we just don’t have enough housing in Minnesota, and we’re seeing that in every area of the state,” he says.

Birkey adds the wage-rent gap is particularly acute in the Twin Cities metro area and in Fargo and Grand Forks. But there’s slight relief in southeast Minnesota (Goodhue, Dodge and Olmsted counties), with a four- to eight-percent drop in how much money a person must make to afford an apartment.

According to the report, minimum wage workers in the Twin Cities metro area must work 71 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment and 90 hours per week for a two-bedroom. That’s two to three hours more per week than last year.

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