Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Heather Edelson
Legislative District: 49A
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
We have a great deal of single family homes - and a smaller number of apartments than many cities. That said, we are developing housing for seniors and people of all ages. Affordability is always a concern.
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?
We have a housing crisis in Minnesota. Many Minnesotans that are working full-time jobs can’t afford housing. They are paying to stay on shelter housing. We as a state need to invest in housing like infurstructure because it is a smart investment. We know health outcomes are better, and crime rates reduce with housing. I will plan to tackle this issue in a bipartisan fashion to ensure we find ways to support Minnesotans.
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 will work tirelessly on this issue. It’s a moral imparitive that we find a solution so that when you work hard you can afford housing. I will work with workers and businesss to find a common sense compromise.
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?
I will work to advocate and ensure housing is affordable and available for Minnesotans to reduce homelessness. Housing is a human rights issue.
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?
I will work to ensure we have policy that makes housing affordable. I will work with the met council to make sure we can solve or drastically reduce the negative impacts of lack of housing for all Minnesotans.
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?
By first acknowledging there is a disparity. Then working to ensure housing justice occurs across the spectrum - I would work with the experts in our State and Communities to find the best policies to ensure the largest impact to improve the housing racial disparities in our state.
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?
Work with housing Mom-profits and associations as well as communities to ensure we are making the right choices to help as many people as possible.
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?
Yes because it is smart investment for our state and it’s a moral issue - we need to not turn away from.