Every year, Minnesota Housing Partnership develops a legislative agenda that focuses on securing state resources and changing policy to facilitate the production of affordable housing. The agenda guides MHP's organizing and advocacy activities at the state legislature.
At the state capitol, MHP works in close partnership with Homes for All, a statewide coalition of more than 150 nonprofits, faith communities, housing developers, school districts, health providers, and local units of government.
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2017 State Legislative Priorities
Appropriate $100 million in bonds in coordinated effort with the Homes for All coalition — $80 million for Housing Infrastructure Bonds and $20 million in General Obligation Bonds.
The 2016 legislative session ended without a bonding bill, leaving many important affordable housing projects unfunded. As the gap between affordable housing need and affordable housing resources continues to widen, it is even more critical that Minnesota legislators appropriate bonds in the 2017 session.
Local Housing Trust Funds
Pass a resolution that clarifies local jurisdictions’ authority to establish local housing trust funds (LHTF). Pass legislation that encourages local jurisdictions to pool multiple funding sources, including private dollars, to fund an LHTF.
LHTFs are a consistent, flexible resource for the development of affordable housing within a local jurisdiction. LHTFs provide leverage for communities to attract additional resources from public and private organizations and jump start projects that draw investment and jobs. Because LHTFs are administered by local jurisdictions, LHTFs enable communities to prioritize developments that maximize benefit to local people.
Bolster and protect Minnesota Housing’s Economic Development and Housing Challenge Fund.
The Challenge Fund is critical financing resource for the development of permanent rental housing affordable to workers in Minnesota’s fastest-growing industries and to Minnesotans with incomes at or below 80 percent of state or area median income. Between 2013 and 2015, the Challenge Fund assisted in the creation of over 2,300 multifamily rental units across Minnesota. Maintaining the Challenge Fund is an important part of propelling economic growth in Minnesota.
Establish a Twin Cities metropolitan-wide fund for affordable housing that is locally raised and controlled.
Between the years 2000 and 2013 the number of households spending half of their monthly income on housing nearly doubled, increasing to 13 percent of all Twin Cities families. The need for affordable housing continues to grow. Workers struggle to find housing near their jobs, seniors must choose between rent and medication, and children without a stable home have difficulty succeeding at school. It’s time we establish a sustainable financial resource for affordable housing that is significant in scale, available for incorporation into local planning processes, and targeted toward the most significant housing need in the region.
Photo: MHP Policy Director, Jeremy Schroeder, and Policy Deputy Director, Libby Murphy, at the state capitol in 2017