Olmsted County rent continues to rise

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Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:21 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The affordable housing crisis continues in Olmsted County and those who rent report are seeing prices skyrocket.

Olmsted County housing director, Dave Dunn, said the main reason rent is continuing to go up in this area is because Rochester is an attractive place to live.

“People want to live here, people want to move here, so I think that’s one thing that’s a positive on the other side our rent is going up so that’s a negative so it’s a little bit of a mixed, but people need a place to live so I think as we think about that as we remember that one of the challenges is high rent,” Dunn said.

Dunn explained the last two or three years have been especially difficult for property managers due to people not paying rent and the laws on evictions, resulting in them having to raise their prices.

“The rent as a whole is a challenge, it’s a private market and so landlords and property managers are free to set rent as they see fit so it’s really a supply and demand issue just at the aggregate level,” Dunn said.

With high rent, there’s going to be people that struggle to make ends meet. The Olmsted County housing director said in order for prices to come down, the county needs a significant amount of more housing. Between now and 2030, Olmsted County needs at least 6,000 more affordable housing units.

“It really takes an all-hands-on deck level approach whether that is use for rental assistance or working with the development community to create more affordable housing whether that’s working with current property owners to preserve the existing affordable housing properties we have,” Dunn said.

Dunn says there is also a “missing middle” which he referred to as young professionals just starting out that make too much to qualify for low-income housing but still have trouble paying regular rent prices.

“It’s a struggle you know I think continuing to work with private landlords working with property management companies really give them notice of what you’re looking for what your interests are that always helps,” Dunn said.

For more information about rental assistance programs, click here.