The needs in each area of the state require
different solutions.

• According to the Minnesota Housing
Partnership report, for example, Greater
Minnesota needs to grow its economy, but is
limited by adequate housing for employees,
partially due to aging housing stock.

• In the Northland, renters are only able to
afford a range of $466-649 each month, yet
the market rent for a two-bedroom home
in St. Louis County is $755. High-demand
jobs in those areas are registered nurses,
personal care aides, nursing assistants, food
preparation and service workers, and retail
salespeople. Most of their wages, the report
indicated, do not allow for affordable rents.

• In the Southern region of the state, near Winona and Faribault, the senior population is rising, yet most senior renters already are paying more than they can afford on housing.

• In St. Cloud and rural areas around Rochester, wage stagnation has made it increasingly difficult to afford the cost of housing.

• In the Twin Cities, homelessness has gone down, but 35 percent of the 6,200 homeless in 2015 were children.

The solutions Teng sees are investment based: build more affordable housing, preserve every unit of housing we do have, and implement city policies to protect tenants and support renters. “That is about valuing our communities and our housing infrastructure,” she says.