In the Twin Cities, you need to make $30,000 to afford a one-bedroom apartment, study says

Categories: How We Live
renthigh560.jpg
Image by Tatiana Craine
-- Update at bottom --

Using data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a map put together by the Washington Post's Wonkblog breaks down how much a person needs to earn to afford a respectable one-bedroom apartment, utilities included, in every county in America. (Check out an interactive version of the map here.)

For counties in the Twin Cities metro core, it turns out a person needs to make $14.54 per hour -- well above the state's new minimum wage -- to rent a one-bedroom and not devote more than 30 percent of their income to rent, the study concludes.

See also:
Minnesota still most unaffordable state for renters in the Midwest

Assuming a person works full-time, that translates to an annual income of $30,243.

Sounds about right -- unless you want to live in Uptown. In that case, hope you have either an awesome job or lots of plasma to sell.

According to the study, the annal income at which at a one-bedroom is affordable in Minnesota doesn't dip below $30,000 unless you're living in exurban/outstate counties like Rice, Goodhue, or McLeod.

We contacted HOME Line, a nonprofit Minnesota statewide tenant advocacy organization, and Mayor Betsy Hodges's spokesperson for comment, but neither got back to us immediately. (See update at bottom.)

It could be worse -- the most expensive county in the country is Marin County, California, where a person has to earn $29.83 hourly (or about $62,000 annually) to afford a one-bedroom. And Twin Cities rents aren't even the most unaffordable in the five-state area. In the housing-starved oil-boom lands of northwestern North Dakota, the one-bedroom "housing wage" is $17.35 per hour.

:::: UPDATE ::::

Mike Vraa, managing attorney at HOME Line, got back to us to share his thoughts on the Twin Cities rental market, which he says has gotten precipitously worse for renters in recent years.

"What we've seen is that in the last 20 or 22 months rents have escalated dramatically," Vraa says. "The vacancy rate had remained fairly static between 2 and 4 percent the last 11 years or so, but frankly, the average rents were just as static, stuck at around $900."

"Now in the last 22 or 22 months it's gone up closer to $975," Vraa continues. "We've heard from a lot of people who have been in their place for eight years and paid $650, and suddenly they get a notice that it's going up to $850 or something. As I see it landlords right now are trying to figure out what the ceiling is for their market."

When Vraa hears from renters in that situation, he recommends they try to negotiate some sort of compromise with their landlord.

"People don't think that has any chance to work, but it actually does," Vraa says. "Landlords like the certainty of long-term renters, so you might be able to negotiate a two-year lease."

Asked whether he thinks the continued construction of high-end rental and condo buildings is a problem, Vraa points out that over the long haul, it could end up benefitting low- and middle-income renters.

"I'll be honest -- I'm not against giant expensive apartment buildings going up, because somebody staying in the nicest apartment right now might move [to a new, even nicer building], so their old unit becomes available," Vraa says. "So some of the expensive stuff ultimately becomes more affordable, but that's a long-term possibility."

But before you decide to move out of the city altogether and into a more affordable unit in the suburbs, Vraa recommends you simply look across the street.

"Frankly, one building over can make a giant difference," he says.

h/t -- Dallas Observer

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
170 comments
John Bunch
John Bunch

Hodges says she wants more people in Minneapolis ...

John Bunch
John Bunch

Causes: jobless flat recovery means that people can't get mortgages, so more rent, driving up the demand for rentals, Baby Boomers moving from the suburbs to be downtown and they have money, and immigration (including internal, from places like California) driving up demand.

Matt Gerard
Matt Gerard

Funny how I said the same thing not to long ago!

Matt Heutinck
Matt Heutinck

Minneapolis is expensive. It's dangerous to be a landlord there, to get a building permit for a small renovation you risk having to update the whole property.

Anya AthroughZlorenzi
Anya AthroughZlorenzi

My 2-br in S. Mpls was $795...until I moved 1&1/2 years ago and they raised it to $975. It's probably more now. Ugh.

Rachel King
Rachel King

The crack stacks went up $200/mo.? LOL

Daniel Jovanovich
Daniel Jovanovich

What isnt touched on is the fact the buildings with income restrictions are all tax exempt... and the fact that we have allowed rental companies to swoop in and buy most foreclosed homes and just give them permits to turn them into rentals, and then they put restrictions on and are exempt from taxes. @will your housing should never be 50% or your income... just like the 7 year loans they are giving people for vehicles everything is transgressing.

Ginny Albrecht
Ginny Albrecht

Even when you are applying for apts in the suburbs they want proof that you make 2.5 to 3 times the amount of rent per month, per person applying for the lease. So that means my boyfriend and I would need to each be making $2100 a month....and there is no way in hell we bring in $4200, maybe $2300 combined. And they want pet rent, and $40 per application, plus two months down. No wonder we still live with our parents. I can't imagine what its like to be a single parent. And the govt wont give you assistance unless you have a child or a disability.

Waterstyle Sixonetwo
Waterstyle Sixonetwo

I'm glad this issue has finally gotten some attention. The prices they charge for rent in Minneapolis are becoming increasingly unaffordable. It's also incredibly difficult to qualify for housing assistance programs such as section 8 which is usually not easy to get if you're from MN and working. Not to mention the credentials most property owners want you to have. It's just not realistic and it is pushing most people to the suburbs where properties are affordable and better maintained.

Sonja Berven
Sonja Berven

This is where I work. I see it everyday and it's hearbreaking.

Jason McCain
Jason McCain

I agree don't read any comments. Note to self.

James Cowart
James Cowart

u could just live in those crack stacks depicted, those are like 200 a month or some crazy shit..

Betty Hindbjorgen
Betty Hindbjorgen

And instead of continually building so called "luxury" condos/apartments, why not focus on nice, affordable properties knowing they will fill up quickly? It's as if the average working person is the one who gets the short end of the stick. It sucks & I'm beyond tired of it.

Chris Gosse
Chris Gosse

As someone who works in the industry, I can tell you that simple supply and demand is what drives the pricing.

Chris Peden
Chris Peden

Its because of section 8. That's why every apartment in the city is over a grand a month. Think about it. Why rent to someone with a job for 7-8 hundred a month? When the landlord can get that guaranteed government money. That's what drives rent up!

Betty Hindbjorgen
Betty Hindbjorgen

I don't need, nor do I want a big home like I once had. I wouldn't mind a small loft or studio. But most I can afford will land me in a not so good area if I want to live alone. Single & most likely needing a roommate at the age of 46. :/

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

Boo fucking hoo... I live in a shitty studio.sometimes that's life if you want to live alone.

Marc Petersen
Marc Petersen

This is quite discouraging. I guess I'll be in a studio.

Beverly Gores
Beverly Gores

I guessing that assumes there are no other bills, like school loans or credit card or car payments? What world do they live in?

Barb Heath
Barb Heath

You already posted this on April 24th. Now I remember why I always unlike your page within three days of liking it.

Ashley Howie-Petroske
Ashley Howie-Petroske

Buying is cheaper than renting. We need more affordable homes to hit the market, too.

Momo
Momo

Also, NO working adult with a few years of experience should be making under $30K if they are hard-working, strategic and aggressive about the field and the employer they chose, with or without a college degree, and did not have kids until they made more money and had a partner. You can go to truck driving school or learn a trade or even advance to manager of the fast food place or sell cars. I'm always astonished at what these low-wage people were doing earlier in their lives. Didn't they go to public school? Or were they the kids goofing off and skipping school, and now complaining that it's society's fault?

Momo
Momo

Only one-fifth of my income goes to rent. I could afford to live in the nicer parts of uptown or Loring Park or the North Loop but I choose not to waste my money.

Sco Kel
Sco Kel

the biggest whinefest I've seen yet.

Terri Taray
Terri Taray

Danielle, and anyone who wants to read..I blame the Government #1..I made good money in a SALES postion..AND, a client saved my Life..litterly. .I had Epilepsy, the company I worked Eight years for terminated me when he helped get me into the Mayo clinic, they found a BRAIN tumour & I had surgery..I was Fired for MAKING MY DISABILITY GO AWAY!! AND WITH A BALD HEAD FULL OF STICHES "HUMAN SERVICES" SAID I DIDNT "QUALIFY" FOR ANYTHING..lost everything! I now, work my ASS off in the health care field...I haven't had a raise in four years! I make less than I did in a retail job, caring for the dying..I've almost lost my East St.Paul apt...which is by where all the police seem to get shot..I've seen WAY too many SWAT teams in my dsy, right out my window..yet, my rent is NEARLY $800.00 a month, I make $725. Every two weeks..AND, I STILL don't qualify for ANY assistance! !! I have had to close out my retirement, sell my jewelery..and, not eat...to not be homeless..this is WRONG! (AND, DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHAT THEY DO TO THE ELDERLY! ) DISGUSTING! I'LL be 50 this year, and hsve worked since I was fifteen. .something in the USA HAS to chsnge!

Jason A Lee
Jason A Lee

yeah, and yet they refuse to raise the min wage

Malinda Maier
Malinda Maier

Waaay cheaper. My sister has a 5 bedroom house 1000/ month yet my dinky two bd apt is 900!

James Booen
James Booen

i make 35,000 and own a 2 bedroom house. stfu

Shain I. Guess
Shain I. Guess

It irks me how many people in the comments are like: "Get a better job! Go to college!" Let's see, add paying off tuition to 500 a month BARE MINIMUM, food costs, bus fare or gas money, on a minimum wage... You can't even be guaranteed 40 hours a week, let alone the 70 one guy mentioned. Also the nice fellow who referred to minimum wage workers as less than human. Yes, let me just borrow a few thousand from the rich parents I don't have.

Nan Thompson
Nan Thompson

Who only pays 30% of their income on rent?

DoubleT
DoubleT

Unfortunately, the reason for this is because the cost of land is so high that developers simply can't afford to build so called "affordable" units.  But by building higher end units they can afford the property with the rents they are getting and like it says in this article, people staying in current high end units may move to the newer developments and force the older higher end units to lower their rates.  It's all about supply and demand.

macpro88
macpro88

According to most of the stories related to rental units and/or condos I have read recently, there has been a recurring reason as to why the rents/prices are so high across the nation as a whole, and that is that developers/builders are building for the high-end market rather than for the average income range. The average working person makes too little to afford these new units and too much to qualify for subsidized housing at the other end. That leaves the majority of us simply out in the cold.

DoubleT
DoubleT

Not even close to true.  These people on section 8 can not afford the luxury units.  Most mid income units don't even accept section 8 either. 

DoubleT
DoubleT

$725 every two weeks?  Go work for a call center!  Seriously, pretty much anyone can do it and you're guaranteed at least 10.00 an hour.  Where I work our call center reps start at 12-15 depending on experience.  Doesn't sound like you're applying yourself.  I don't have a college degree and make plenty to be happy with my life. It's all about how you apply yourself.

FUCKtheDFL
FUCKtheDFL

That sounds like the biggest bullshit story I have heard in my entire life.

FirstL
FirstL

I shared a 2+2 in a good area of burbank california a couple years back with a friend, we each paid $575 month all utils included. We both got deferments on paying back our student loans until we made more money. We also both worked multiple part time jobs making not much more than min wage and we survived just fine.

A person can survive just fine if they are willing to suffer a little. who knows they might gain some pride and humility and be able to use this to be a driving force to bettering themselves.

Someday they might own their own business...I do now.

Momo
Momo

Only one-fifth of my after-tax income goes to rent ...

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...