What the Housing Crisis Looks Like

PERCENTAGE OF COST-BURDENED WRIGHT COUNTY HOUSEHOLDS Cost burden: spending 30 percent or more of household income on housing costs. Severe cost burden: spending more than 50 percent. Low-income: households earning under $35,000 annually. Source: Minnesota Housing Partnership

Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) bi- annually reports state- and county-level data about the status of housing. The organization started tracking state data in 2015, and the story it tells has never looked great. Many people cannot afford a home, and those with rents are paying more than they should based on available incomes. This cost-burdened status affects 63 percent of senior renters statewide and impacts 279,000 children in low-income households.

For example, Wright County in central Minnesota has 50,290 households; of those, 11,334 households are “cost burdened,” defined as at risk of being forced to choose between a home and paying for other basic needs like food and medicine.

By sheer number, Hennepin County has the largest number of cost-burdened seniors, with 41,567. Other counties with more than 30 percent of senior renters and homeowners paying more than they can afford on housing include: Isanti, Morrison, Carver, Ramsey, Dakota, Sherburne, Waseca, Scott, and Washington.

In the general population, the number of cost- burdened households has increased by 71,977 — or 13 percent. That increase has grown substantially since the pandemic, from 590,538 to 641,549 households. It is estimated that the cost-burdened status of renters will be up by 50 percent between 2022 and 2023 alone.

The average annual eviction number before the pandemic was 16,841. In 2022, there were 22,455 evictions statewide. Olmsted, Clay, Stearns, Ramsey, and Dakota have seen the most significant increases in eviction filings. For example, the average eviction filings for Olmsted between 2012 and 2019 went up by 138 percent in 2022.

Racial gaps in home ownership continue to be extreme, especially in Stevens, Benton, Swift, Polk, and Stearns counties. According to the 2022 American Community Survey, only Maine has a wider disparity gap than Minnesota.

Find data for all counties at mhponline.org

Source: Minnesota Housing Partnership