Affordable Housing and Minimum Wage
According to yesterday’s report from Working Minnesota, five MN state representatives are determined to learn what it takes to find housing they can afford, as they take Working America’s Minimum Wage Challenge.
The non-profit advocacy group caught up with Rep. Karen Clark, who struggled to find affordable housing on a budget of $375 per month. “It would be very discouraging,” Clark said, after learning that she could only afford a single room in a house shared with three adult men. “If I had children, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Clark’s South Minneapolis district — which includes parts of the East Phillips, Seward, and Lyn-Lake neighborhoods — is hardly an anomaly. At $7.25 an hour, the average Minnesotan would have to work 89 hours per week (more than two full-time jobs) to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Some families fare even worse.
Beyond calling for action to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage, Clark pointed to the importance of public investment in affordable housing for families.
Minnesota needs to invest more in affordable housing. “We have around 20,000 homeless people, and half of those are children. We have waiting lists for public housing. We know how to make housing affordable…but it costs money.”
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Source: Working Minnesota