MN Housing Measures

Conceived in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, MN Housing Measures has evolved through many iterations through the years to its current form: an annually-updated, interactive, visualization of three key measures related to affordable rental housing in Minnesota:

Private Market Affordability: The percent of non-subsidized, publicly-advertised vacancies affordable to 60% of area median income, by metro area and region in the state. 
Subsidized Housing Stock: The total inventory of both publicly-funded affordable rental units and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers by metro area and region in the state.
Funding for Housing: Statewide dollars allocated to housing from the federal government, state government, and philanthropic entities.

MN Housing Measures: About the Data

Private Market Affordability

“Affordability” in this analysis refers to housing that costs no more than 30 percent of the income of a household making 60 percent of the area median. Figures are based on analysis of HUD median family incomes and HousingLink's private market rent data. including likely utility costs, depending on number of bedrooms and building type. To learn more about how HousingLink calculates affordability by area median income, see this video.

note: It is important to remember that an overall standard of “affordability” is a broad brush and individual families looking for housing can only evaluate the notion of “affordable” relative to their own circumstances.

Subsidized Housing Stock

  • Units: Unit-based subsidized affordable rental stock refers to rental housing units with public financing that ensures market rents at 80% area median income and below, and are based on analysis of records in HousingLink's Streams database.
  • Vouchers: Vouchers refer to all Housing Choice Vouchers (commonly called “Section 8” vouchers) currently in use, retrieved from HUD's A Picture of Subsidized Households data portal.

Funding for Housing

Funding for affordable housing is comprised of three primary metrics: 

  • Federal: This represents total US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spending in the state of Minnesota, and data is retrieved from Approximately 3% of this figure may currently include funding for non-housing related activities, including a portion of Community Development Block Grants and the Homeless Management Information System. HousingLink is exploring a way to identify and remove this from the total.
  • State: This refers to spending reported by MN Housing in their Annual Report and Program Assessment, Table 5: Assistance by Region and Funds Source. Note: Assistance is broken out by “Grants, Deferred Loans, and Housing Tax Credits” and “Amortizing Loans.” In past versions of MN Housing Measures, we intentionally excluded the latter category, but have elected to include the aggregate of both for this and in future reports.
  • Philanthropic: This data was retrieved from the nationally-based Foundation Center’s Foundation Maps tool and represents all grantmaking activity from foundations for activities in the State of MN, whether the foundation is MN-based or not.

Questions about the data?

Dan Hylton
Research Manager

Media Inquiries

Sue Speakman-Gomez

Other Data & Research

Learn more about HousingLink Research and Data products and resources here.