**Update 12pm May 16: The bonding bill was passed by the Senate this morning and is headed to Governor Dayton for his signature.**
Days before the end of legislative session, $100 million in bonding for housing is poised for final passage.
Early in the morning on May 16, the House passed a compromise bonding bill off the floor, which includes a record $100 million in bonds for housing. Because a three-fifths majority is required for bonding bills, the bill needed the support of at least eight Republicans to pass. In the end the bill passed 92 to 40.
This bill, which totals $846 million, will next head to the Senate floor, where passage is also expected. An additional $200 million cash bill was also passed by the House.
Earlier this week, House and Senate leaders worked to iron out differences between the two chambers' versions of the bonding bills. While the House version included $100 million for housing all along, the Senate bill included only $80 million. Through the negotiations, housing emerged with a full $100 million commitment.
If the Senate passes the bill and Governor Dayton signs it, as expected, the state will be able to invest in supportive housing, preservation of affordable rental properties, including public housing, and recovery for communities hard hit by foreclosures.
The Homes for All alliance, including MHP, has been advocating for $100 million in bonding for housing all session.
This bill marks an investment of historic proportion for housing, exceeding the bonding investment of $37.5 million for housing in 2012. In light of extensive housing need, with an estimated 14,000 homeless per night, and nearly half of all renters cost-burdened by housing, this investment has been embraced by Homes for All. The $100 million watermark would set a new standard for future legislatures to adequately invest in housing.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been instrumental in championing housing in the bonding bill.
Representative Alice Hausman and Senator LeRoy Stumpf, chairs of the House and Senate Capital Investment Committees respectively, have both been tremendous allies championing housing in the bonding bill.
Thousands of advocates affiliated with over 100 organizations in the Homes for All alliance have contacted and met with legislators, written letters to newspapers, and used Twitter and other social media extensively to make their voices heard. Teachers, congregations, mental health organizations, and local governments as well as housing and homelessness organizations, architects and developers have all been a part of conveying the urgent need for housing resources.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard this session to ensure that Minnesota's housing needs are better met. We remain hopeful that we will see this bill passed by the Senate and signed into law...stay tuned.