MN Housing Measures Report

MN Housing Measures 2012-2016

The supply of naturally-occurring affordable housing (NOAH) rental listings in the state of Minnesota has declined steeply, according to our new MN Housing Measures 2012-2016 report.

According to our report, only 31% of rental listings in the Twin Cities were affordable to households making 60% of the area median ($51,480 for a family of four) in 2016, as opposed to 48% in 2012. Moreover, although Greater MN is generally more affordable, every market that was studied saw a double-digit decline in percent of affordable listings over that same time.

MN Housing Measures 2012-2016, which analyzed over 373,000 rental listings from 2012 to 2016, also looked at the supply of subsidized housing, both in terms of units made permanently affordable as the result of public financing and "Section 8" tenant vouchers for use in the private market. Although the report shows only modest growth for the region as a whole, there is a greater degree of subsidized rental growth in proximity to the Twin Cities transit networks and, in particular, light rail and bus rapid transit stations, a welcome trend given community concerns over gentrification and overall loss of affordable housing in those areas.

MN Housing Measures 2012-2016 is the first in a new series of annual reports by HousingLink developed on behalf of the McKnight Foundation The report explores the state of affordable rental housing in the midst of an extended period of low vacancy, rising rents, and challenges to developing new publicly-funded units. Relative health of geographies throughout the state of Minnesota are viewed through a lens of "NOAH" (naturally occurring affordable housing) and publicly-subsidized rental units supplies, as well as funding streams for affordable housing. Since 2007 The McKnight Foundation and HousingLink have collaborated on the Minnesota Baseline Housing Measures report. The intent of the report was to track activity, through a series of specific measurements, within the affordable housing community in Minnesota. Benchmarks were identified to trace developments in the field and further policy discussion on system trends and performance, with an end-goal to most efficiently meet the need for affordable housing and ultimately align efforts toward The McKnight Foundation's housing vision to increase family stability and link families to greater opportunity in our communities.
The McKnight Foundation works toward the following housing objectives:

Public Will: We will strive to increase public acceptance of and support for affordable housing as a community asset rather than a liability.

Innovation & Design: We will promote innovation and quality design that is good for people, places, and the environment.  Housing that looks great, is located wisely, and is “green.”

Increased Preservation & Production: We will strive to accelerate the pace of affordable housing preservation, production, and permanency.

An evaluation framework was developed to foster mutual accountability for results between McKnight and its partners for the goals of the affordable housing program. The baselines and outcome measures were developed over a six-month iterative process of sharing and learning. Key partners and data experts were consulted to review and improve the framework and determine how to best capture progress towards the McKnight goals, as well as provide useful information for the affordable housing field.

The initial concept and design of MN Housing Measures was retired after the 2013 report and a new version was developed to better reflect the post-Recession affordable housing industry in Minnesota, as well as better leverage HousingLink unique, primary rental data.

Contact Us

Dan Hylton
Research Manager
612-767-4682 (ext. 4)