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Nearly Half of Minnesota Renters Overburdened by Housing Costs

PHOTO: The latest analysis finds there are still a lot of folks across the state and nation on the edge financially, and high housing costs are a major factor. Photo credit: BLH Photography
PHOTO: The latest analysis finds there are still a lot of folks across the state and nation on the edge financially, and high housing costs are a major factor. Photo credit: BLH Photography
February 27, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Affordable housing can be key to helping working families gain and keep financial stability, but for many across Minnesota the costs of rent and utilities are taking more than their share of the monthly budget. The Center for Enterprise Development (CFED) analyzed the latest data. Senior Research Manager Kasey Wiedrich said they found that about half the renters in the state are "housing cost-burdened."

"Forty-eight percent of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on their housing costs. Compared to the rest of the nation, they're doing pretty well, but still, almost half of renters are not able to have an 'affordable' - as the housing industry defines it - place to live."

Wiedrich said the high cost of housing does not allow for families on the edge to save for emergencies, a factor that is a major contributor to the liquid-asset poverty rate. In Minnesota, that rate is about 28 percent.

"With liquid asset poverty, we're looking at the rate of households that don't have enough liquid savings - cash in the bank, savings accounts, even retirement accounts that people could fairly easily tap into - so that they could make it for three months at the poverty level if their income went away," she explained.

The group's latest "Assets and Opportunities Scorecard" also shows how Minnesota is faring in areas such as jobs, health care and education. The CFED Scorecard is available at http://assetsandopportunity.org/scorecard/.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN