Fact Sheet

Working Doesn’t Always Pay for a Home

Sep 2018

The average single-family home is too costly for many working individuals and families to buy. In 2018, rental vacancy rates were just over two percent, keeping rents high and out of reach for many working families. 

This fact sheet compares worker’s wages to the affordability of housing (including transportation costs) by industry. By the 30 percent measure, a family would have to earn $49,920 per year ($24.00 per hour) to afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment or $76,741 per year ($36.89 per hour) to afford to buy a modest single-family home. However, half of the jobs in the Twin Cities metro area pay less than $56,035.

The disconnect between the labor market and the housing market presents a challenge too great to address only one side of the issue. While incomes for working families need to rise, the region must also increase our supply of affordable housing options. 

Looking to compare to previous years? Here are 2015 and 2014 versions of the fact sheet.

What happens to the regional economy when workers can’t find affordable housing? Check out our report on the link between housing and economic growth.

Workforce Housing
Who is it for?
Business Leaders & Employers, Engaged Citizens & Neighbors, Policy Makers

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