Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Frank Hornstein
Legislative District: 61A
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
The district I represent is experiencing significant growth in housing and population, particularly in Uptown and Loring Park. I am deeply concerned that very little of this new development includes anything that could be defined as affordable.
Availability of Affordable Housing: More than 25% of households in Minnesota pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing, meaning they must sacrifice in other areas like food and medicine to make ends meet. What steps will you take to encourage the production of more affordable homes?
I would ensure that the state passes a bonding for affordable housing in excess of 100 million dollars; require enforcement of land use and other powers given to the metropolitan council to ensure that regional affordable housing goals are met; creation of a robust state affordable housing trust fund; and support for local initiatives to fund and create affordable housing and policies that encourage specific percentages of affordable units in new developments.
Workers: A full-time minimum wage worker cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment in any county in Minnesota — and many of the fastest growing jobs are in low-wage industries. What investments or policy would you champion to address the growing gap between what workers can afford and housing costs?
I am an author of a regional living wage bill and support a $15 an hour minimum wage. I believe raising the wage is a prerequisite to addressing growing wealth and income inequality.
Homelessness: A lack of affordable housing options is one of the top reasons for homelessness, for individuals or families. What will you do to end homelessness in Minnesota?
We must address the systemic causes of homelessness, primarily the lack of affordable housing. I am particularly concerned about youth homelessness and strongly support efforts to provide wrap around services, including transitional housing for teens and families. I believe the Steve O'Neil Permanent Supportive Apartments in Duluth provides an excellent model for this vision.
Seniors and children: More than half of senior renters and more than 1 in 4 senior homeowners pay more than they can afford for housing. Meanwhile, children without stable, affordable housing have lower educational and health outcomes. What will you do to ensure housing policy and resources support Minnesota's seniors and students?
It is imperative that strategies to preserve existing affordable units are in place to protect senior housing. Too many units are lost to gentrification and development pressures. This is particularly impactful for families with children and our senior population. Rent stabilization protecting renters from eviction must be a priority.
Racial Disparities: Minnesota's racial disparities in housing are among the worst in the nation, for renters and homeowners. For instance, 22 percent of Black households are homeowners, compared to 76 percent of white households. How will you reduce the racial homeownership gap and other disparities in housing for households of color?
The racial home-ownership gap has deep roots in American history. Red lining policies and the legacy of block-busting are still prevalent in our communities. The inequity in home-ownership reflects the broader disparities in wealth and income inequality. To address this issue we must enforce existing anti-discrimination housing laws as well as the provisions of the Community Investment Act and address continuing culpability of the banking industries loan origination policies.
Rental Stability: Rental assistance is proven to reduce homelessness, housing instability, and overcrowding, but 75% of residents who qualify for rental assistance do not receive this limited resource. What will you do to expand access to housing assistance to every household that needs it?
Rent and utility assistance program via an affordable housing trust fund will increase resources available to households in need of rent assistance.
Funding: We cannot meet our growing, statewide housing needs without significant additional resources. Will you support a dedicated source of funding for affordable housing? Why or why not?
I will support a significant increase to our state's affordable housing trust fund and increased state bonding for affordable housing.