ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s first “housing scorecard” measuring the state’s standing on six key goals shows some progress toward making more homes a priority but also found a growing shortage of affordable housing and large racial disparities in homeownership rates.
The scorecard was released Tuesday, Feb. 25, by Prosperity’s Front Door, a statewide network of business, government, community and nonprofit leaders. It measured steps being taken to achieve six goals set in 2018 by the Governor’s Task Force on Housing.
The findings include:
- Minnesota is experiencing its greatest housing shortage in decades.
- Homelessness is on the rise.
- White families are almost twice as likely to own their own homes as families of color.
- Increases in home prices and rents continue to outpace wage growth at every rung on the economic ladder.
- There’s a growing public awareness of and commitment to providing more affordable homes for more Minnesotans.
“We believe… Minnesota’s long-term prosperity and economic recovery depend on our commitment to ensure that prosperity is available to everyone in our state, and our course of work won’t be done until every Minnesotan has a place to call home,” Judy Johnson, project director for Prosperity’s Front Door, said at a Capitol press conference.
The housing task force’s first goal was to make more affordable homes a priority. The scorecard reported the state is off to a strong start with growing public awareness of housing needs and more funding for housing investments, including Gov. Tim Walz’s recent $276 million bonding request for affordable housing, the largest ask ever. And there are bills in the House and Senate proposing spending even more.
But the state is losing ground on the task force’s second goal: preserving the homes we have, the scorecard said. Home prices and rents are outpacing wage increases, and fewer homes are available at affordable prices.
Minnesota is making slow progress on the third goal of building more homes. An estimated 30,000 homes were built in the state last year, reducing the housing shortage, but low- and moderate-income families can’t afford most of those new homes.
Goal four is to increase home stability, and the report found the state off to a strong start in reducing eviction rates and providing more tenant protections.
While the number of homeless people increased 10 percent last year, the scorecard said the state made slow progress on the fifth goal of expanding shelter capacity and supportive social services.
It found Minnesota is losing ground on the task force’s final goal of closing racial disparities in homeownership rates. In 2018, 77 percent of white households owned homes, compared with 41 percent of households of color.
To measure future progress toward those goals, Johnson said Prosperity’s Front Door will issue annual scorecards and continue “leading statewide conversations” on how to meet housing needs.