College-educated, gainfully employed and unable to afford a place of our own.
Over the last month, a co-worker and I have been searching for a place to rent. We’re in our late 20s/early 30s. Both of us have bachelor’s degrees, have been successful in our respective careers in design and the arts, and have been diligently working to pay down student debt for an average of 12 years between us. We responsibly pay our monthly expenses — gas, groceries, student loans, cellphones, car payments, auto insurance — and we contribute to a high-deductible health insurance plan. One of us moved back to the Twin Cities last year and started renting a place with her dad, while the other sold a townhouse, paid down college debt and moved into her parents’ basement.
Our search for a place of our own has been frustrating, to say the least. Having done everything society tells us to do in our 20s, we are disheartened to grasp that two responsible, college-educated, gainfully employed single women can’t afford a simple two-bedroom apartment in the Twin Cities. With average rent here now at more than $1,200 a month, and with most new facilities taking part in Section 42 income-limit programs to receive tax breaks, we’ve found ourselves in a hopeless state of limbo.
Affordable housing seems to be set up for those participating in government programs, while those of us able to support ourselves financially are still unable to afford a roof over our heads.
Something needs to change. Our generation just can’t seem to catch a break.
Andrea Eiken, Lindstrom, Minn.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.