Last week, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency awarded $162 million for housing development, which will touch 4,000 Minnesota households. Each will benefit from rehab or new construction of a safe, secure place to call home. This award package gives us many reasons to celebrate, both for the people who will benefit and for all the advocates and legislators who championed Homes for Allto make a bigger pie.
We also want to take stock of our work ahead -- for every dollar awarded there were almost two dollars' worth of requests that were left unfunded.
Read on for background and analysis of the awards to help inform our work going forward.
The September Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Board meeting covered several important topics. The board was briefed about the administrative complaint being filed with HUD against the Agency and several other entities. The board also approved the 2015 Affordable Housing Plan after review of public comments. Additionally, two pilot programs received funds - one assisting young families and another protecting affordable housing properties. In further news, the Agency withstood their first major computer virus attack.
According to a recent Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies & AARP Foundation study, by 2030, the number of people aged 65 and older is estimated to reach 73 million, increasing by 33 million in two decades. Here in Minnesota, more than 1 in 5 residents in each of our 87 counties will be over 65 by this date. This “rapid aging” of America, including Minnesota, creates several challenges for housing, ranging from affordability to accessibility. What do we need to do in our state to ensure that the needs of seniors will be met?
At the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency August board meeting, the board approved distribution of rehab rental loans and housing counseling awards. The board also examined drafts of the Affordable Housing Plan in anticipation of adopting the plan in its September meeting. In addition to receiving other updates, board members asked several questions, including one about meeting the housing needs of seniors.