REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK | For rent?

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In the Twin Cities, 28 percent of residents make their homes in rental properties. How much do they pay? How much is too much for rent? Do the Twin Cities have enough rental property to meet the needs of renters?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says rent should be no more than 30 percent of total income. HUD says $899 is the average FMR in the Twin Cities. That means a monthly income of approximately $3000. What housing is available for families with lower income? How many households pay more than 50 percent of their income for rent? How do they cope?  

For some of the most vulnerable low-income groups in our community, household members are forced to work long hours, find additional work in extra jobs or compromise on safety, food or medication — each of which stretches families in difficult ways.

Help Us Report This Story!

We are looking for people who can help us put a human face on this story — people who have struggled personally with the difficulties of matching low incomes with high rental housing costs, and from landlords who rent to low income families.  We are also interested in hearing the stories of those who have worked in government, private or non-profit groups that focus on bridging the gap for those families. We would like to hear from those who are working to make and change policy in this area, whether through direct advocacy or those working to represent their constituents at the state, local, or federal level.

If you are willing to share your story, contact Jennifer Thomsen as we work to develop this story.  Jennifer can be reached at: jennifer@tcdailyplanet.net