Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Jim Davnie
Legislative District: 63A
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
Rental housing as a percentage of housing units is growing in my district but is still beyond the affordability of too many. For homeowners rising property values pose a property tax issues for seniors and low income people.
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?
Encouraging greater production is key. I have been proud to advocate and vote for the recent bonding bills that put significant funding into affordable housing. We may need to reexamine 4d property tax policies to incent more production in communities.
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 was proud to vote for the last minimum wage increase that included regular increases and indexing. It may again be time to revisit that policy given the slow growth of wages in the current economy.
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?
For some among the homeless the need is for greater access to mental and chemical health srbvices. That should be a priority as greater access to supports has multiple benefits including housing stability.
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 have been an advocate for Homework Starts at Home initiatives.
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?
I have long been an advocate for land trusts as a strategy to increase home ownership. I will continue to do that. Building greater economic strength in communities of color is also important. Elaborating on the number of housing units in neighborhoods will serve all people.
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?
Rental assistance is an area that needs greater exploration and review given the tight rental market and generally flat income today.
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. It's time.