Business, consumer and economic tidbits from DNT reporter Candace Renalls. Click here to view previous posts or additional resources.
Making the rent
If you rent a modest two-bedroom apartment in Duluth and earn less than $12.10 an hour, you can’t afford it.
That’s according to local data in a recent national report that found rents on simple two-bedroom apartments have become unaffordable for a lot of working stiffs, people on fixed income and other low income folks. And for families struggling from the recession, higher rents are making their plight even more difficult.
Since 2000, rents in Duluth have increased at least 32 percent, the same as St. Cloud, Fargo-Moorhead, and Rochester. Compare that with the Twin Cities, where rents increased 26 percent and renters need to earn at least $17.29 an hour to afford a no-frills two-bedroom apartment.
The report, “Out of Reach 2010,” was released by the Minnesota Housing Partnership this week. In general, rural areas in Minnesota saw the fastest rent increases: 37 percent since 2000. Some remote areas had rents go up more than 50 percent.
In nearly every county in Minnesota, those earning the average wage for renters (in the Twin Cities, that’s $36,000; Duluth would be less), need to work overtime to pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
Of course, another option for some is to get a roommate who will share in the rental costs.