In her opening remarks Commissioner Tingerthal presented a rundown on pending housing legislation. She mentioned Rep. Bob Gunther’s successful effort on the House floor to reverse $4.5 million of a committee’s proposal to move $5 million previously appropriated for the Challenge program to DEED’s workforce housing fund. She added that the House and Senate supported a $250,000 appropriation to create a risk mitigation program that can be used to compensate owners for damages done by higher risk tenants. Also in appropriations and related to the Governor’s racial equity proposals, the Senate supported $3 million for downpayment assistance and one-half million for housing counseling. The House did not fund either program.
With only four weeks left in the legislative session, MHP and Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) co-hosted a Capitol Countdown event at the Schmidt Artist Lofts on Tuesday, April 26th. The event brought affordable housing developers, advocates, and policy officials together for a call to action to increase resources for affordable housing at the Capitol.
MHP’s recently released 2x4 report shows some of the lowest foreclosure and eviction rates of the past decade, and a boom in multifamily home construction. But low rental vacancy rates and steadily climbing rents continue to tighten the competition for lower-priced rentals, putting further strain on most renter households.
In March’s Minnesota Housing board meeting the agency introduced new staff, commented on the legislative session, made changes to housing programs, and provided an update on homelessness in Minnesota. Commissioner Tingerthal began by offering support for the governor’s supplemental budget and its initiative to address racial inequities in Minnesota. Agency staff informed the board on altered scoring procedures for the Community Impact Fund and approved the extension of a rental rehab deferred loan pilot. Cathy ten Broeke, the state Director to Prevent and End Homelessness, updated the board on new homelessness trends and commented on the new two year action plan. Read below for further detail.