A study released last week by the Center for Housing Policy shows modest gains in housing affordability for working households from 2009 - 2012 for many cities and states across the U.S., including Minnesota and the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The report concludes that we must continue to invest in housing production aggressively, to counterbalance rising rents and home prices.
The January Minnesota Housing board meeting included discussion of several new initiatives, including the Minnesota Challenge competition to reduce costs of developing rental housing, as well as a program to help ex-offenders find housing. The board talked through tweaks to current scoring for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, with a more extensive overhaul planned for 2016. The board also approved the Fort Snelling Homeless Veterans project despite higher than expected costs. Finally Commissioner Tingerthal spoke about work with tribes and introduced the new Chief Financial Officer, Rob Tietz.
MHP released its Legislative District Profiles on Friday, February 7, which provide a powerful tool for legislators, advocates, and the general public to better understand housing issues within Minnesota. Each district has a two-page profile, which includes a 5 year overview of housing trends for the district, number of foreclosures for the district since 2005, and homelessness by region. The profiles also include statewide housing data for context.
These profiles are created for House districts (ending in A or B). For Senate districts, share the A and B profiles together with your State Senator. Access all of the Legislative District Profiles here. The same link will help you find out who represents you and/or identify your district number.
Minnesota's largest city prioritized affordable housing and homelessness prevention in its 2014 legislative priorities adopted on December 6, 2013. In its priorities, Minneapolis specifically addressed the need for policies that prevent mortgage foreclosures, secure andreoccupy vacant and abandoned properties, and help stabilize communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. The city also strongly supports funding, including Housing Infrastructure Bonds for Minnesota Housing, at a level significant enough to have statewide impact on shelters, as well as permanent, supportive, assisted and transitional housing that serve affordable housing needs throughout the State.
Mayor Betsy Hodges has previously expressed support for the United for Homes campaign, which is a national effort to fund the National Housing Trust Fund with revenue raised from modifications to the mortgage interest deduction.