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Beacon Shares New Data on Worsening Crisis for Minnesota Renters, Need for Bold Solutions

Dylan Novacek July 28, 2020

The number of Minnesota households unable to pay the rent doubled from May to June and is expected to continue to rise without Bring It Home, MN rent subsidy legislation.

SAINT PAUL, MN, July 24, 2020 – New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals a steep climb in the number of Minnesota households reporting they are unable to pay their rent. The severity of the crisis will only worsen unless bold action is taken, according to Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative.

“The numbers are showing the growing crisis,” said Ben Helvick Anderson, Beacon’s director of public policy. “From May to June, the U.S. Census pulse survey shows a steep rise in the percentage of Minnesota renters who report they cannot afford the next month’s rent, from 14 to 27 percent. When a quarter of renters across the state can’t make their payments, you know the system is broken and in need of a serious overhaul.”

Beacon compiled the data from the weekly U.S. Census Pulse Survey, which also showed a tripling in the number of households who report they didn’t pay last month’s rent, spiking from 6 percent in May to 19 percent in June. While all demographic groups are severely impacted, the situation is most perilous for Black and Hispanic households.

“Housing is an equity issue, and this data adds one more piece to the growing pile of evidence that our housing system negatively impacts Black, Brown, and Indigenous Minnesotans the most,” says Helvick Anderson. “The federal eviction moratorium and the added benefit to unemployment benefits have both ended and while we need federal response, we must also work locally. It is time for Minnesota to fix the core problem instead of bandaging the growing wound that existed pre-pandemic. The situation demands a solution as big as the problem.”

Beacon is working with Representative Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield), and Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) on a historic investment in home called Bring It Home, MN. The legislation would make sure every low-income family can pay their rent by providing a rent subsidy to all who qualify.

“In Minnesota, we value being good neighbors,” said Helvick Anderson. “And all of our neighbors –every one of us – are worthy of a stable place to call home. Good neighbors don’t turn away from each other when things get tough. They come together to create a better tomorrow. We need to step into this moment to fix our broken housing system, so it works for every Minnesotan. We need Bring It Home, MN.”