Minnesota has the most unaffordable rent in the Midwest

Minnesotans who can't afford their rent outnumber those who can, according to a new study released today, landing us dead last in a ranking of affordable housing markets in the Midwest.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition released numbers today showing that Minnesotans need to be making, on average, $15.79 an hour in order to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment. Most of us are not.

The study considers paying up to 30 percent of one's income on rent to be "affordable," and the average fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $821 a month. The number crunchers figured you need to make $15.79 an hour to make that work, but the mean wage in the state is only $11.61. That means about 55 percent of us are paying more than we can afford on rent.

In the metro area, the average rent skews higher for a two-bedroom--about $924 a month--and vacancy rates are at an all-time low of 3 percent. But the least affordable counties in the state are Winona and Aitkin Counties, and the problem is worst in the greater state.

"Rents tend to be cheaper, but there's a real shortage of good affordable rental housing," says Minnesota Housing Partnership researcher Leigh Rosenberg.

The newest numbers have plummeted our rank to dead last of the 12 Midwestern states. We beat out Illinois for this dubious distinction--they took last in 2010. Unsurprisingly, the Dakotas have some of the most affordable stock in the country. Of all 50 states, Minnesota ranks 28th.

You can play with specific numbers and average rent prices for all the counties in Minnesota here.

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