The Twin Cities region added 1,724 new affordable units in 2016, a modest increase from 1,613 new units in 2015, according to a just-released Council MetroStats report, A Step Forward: The Regional's 2016 Affordable Housing Production (4 pages, pdf). The new units are considered affordable, for example, for a family of four with an income of $51,480 or less.
Council officials call it “a step forward,” but with the following caveats:
Half of the new affordable units in 2016 were restricted to adults age 55 or older
Most of the new affordable units were affordable to the higher end of what is considered “low-income” households
The number of new units reflects only new or added affordable units, and does not reflect how many affordable units may have been lost.
The primary form of new affordable housing continues to be multifamily apartment buildings. In 2016, 94% of affordable units were renter-occupied. In fact, since 2010 most of the region's new residential construction has been multifamily rental units.
In contrast, most single-family homes added since 2011 are not affordable to lower-income households. Just over 4,100 single family detached homes were added in 2016, but only 92 were affordable.