Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Paul Anderson
Legislative District: 12B
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
Affordable housing is tight, especially work force housing. It's difficult here in Greater Minnesota to cash flow projects because wages are lower here and with that, the ability to pay higher rents or house payments.
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?
This is a difficult question, especially in light of recent cost increases in home construction. We should provide incentives to builders so they can construct more housing and yet keep the cost or rent amounts as reasonable as possible.
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 supported the recently passed Capital Investment bill, which provided $90 million in bonding dollars to help provide incentives to keep housing costs as low as possible.
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?
As mentioned above, I will support bonding investments by the state to help stabilize the cost of home building in Minnesota.
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?
We need policy that allows seniors to stay in their homes as long as possible. In the long run, that will save the state money that could be used in other areas of affordable housing. I agree that students with a stable home situation will do better in school.
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?
Make these same programs available to ALL Minnesotans.
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?
Support programs aimed at getting the message about rental assistance to those who would qualify.
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?
We already have many different programs that assist in this area. I would want to study our state financial situation along with our current housing programs before committing to another, dedicated source of funding.