The latest 2x4 Report was released today, with findings that remind us that though the economy has improved for some, many others are being left behind. In sum, record numbers of homeless families sought shelter in Hennepin County, while rents continued to rise. On the other hand, falling foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies spelled good news for the beleaguered home ownership market.
The Homes for Allbills to help stabilize families with affordable housing, prevent homelessness, and create housing that serves our state's workforce continue to move forward, and support is growing. Over 70 organizations have now endorsed our coalition's legislation requesting a $50 million increase in state funding split between Minnesota Housing and four DHS homelessness programs, along with a $50 million in housing bonds. Between successful recent hearings and favorable budget "targets" being set, we are one step closer realizing our shared Homes for All goals.
Sequestration, automatic across-the-board cuts to federal defense and non-defense discretionary spending, was meant to be a disincentive for political gridlock. However, it apparently did not serve its intended purpose as federal lawmakers were not able to agree on a deficit reduction package by the March 1st deadline.
Though advocates hoped Congress would craft an alternative deficit reduction package when it recently took up the 2013 budget bill, on March 21, 2013, Congress passed a 2013 budget bill that reaffirms sequestration. Needless to say, this is bad news for housing and the impacts of sequestration are already being felt in Minnesota. A federal and state summary follows, along with a call for advocates to make their voices heard in light of the devastating cuts.