An uneven recovery is unfolding in Minnesota five years after the housing collapse, according to a joint Minnesota Housing Partnership - Minnesota 2020 study. While a modest recovery is under way for middle- and upper-income homeowners, there's been virtually no recovery for those with more limited means, especially renters.
This week MN2020 and MHP hosted three press conferences highlighting the report findings and the continuing fallout of the foreclosure crisis and Great Recession on housing in Minnesota communities.
Wednesday's press conference featured Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools Superintendents, Dr. Bernadeia Johnson and Valeria Silva, who urged lawmakers to support $100 million in bonding for affordable housing.
The March Minnesota Housing board meeting included a summary of the Agency's 2013 investments by income and race, by strategic priority, and by geography. It also included state and federal legislative updates, approval of the 2015 tax credit allocation plan and approval of a multi-agency plan to stabilize the Duluth Seaway Apartments.
According to the report, a minimum wage earner in Minnesota would have to work 91 hours per week – or hold 2.3 full time jobs -- to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the state of Minnesota. For the fourth year running, Minnesota has ranked the worst in the Midwest for affordability for minimum wage workers.
The Minnesota Out of Reach 2014 report, released jointly by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and MHP in Minnesota, provides rental affordability data for every state, metro area, and county in the US.
The February Minnesota Housing board meeting included preliminary approval of the 2016 Qualified Allocation Plan, which are the guidelines the Agency uses to rank competitive applications for federal Housing Tax Credits ($12 million to be allocated by MHFA in 2016). Other meeting highlights include approval of the Tribal Nations Consultation Policy as required of all state agencies, announcement of a new fund for energy efficient improvements to single family homes, and announcement of program administrators for increased funding to the Bridges Rental Assistance program which provides temporary rental subsidy payments for persons with a serious mental illness.