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The housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act are at a make or break moment. The collective actions of advocates like you have put housing back in the bill after the funding was nearly eliminated. Now we’re making a final push for one last increase and to ensure the funds are used primarily to get and keep the lowest income people housed. We’re making progress, but we’re not there yet.

If enacted and done right, this could be the most consequential federal housing bill in our lifetimes. Everything we’ve done for the last few weeks, months and years has led to this moment and created this opportunity. It’s now or never. Final decisions may be made this weekend.

Contact your US Representative and U.S. Senators TODAY:   

We are asking advocates to contact their members of Congress to weigh in with the White House and Congressional leadership to urge that any cuts to Build Back Better aren’t made at the expense of getting and keeping people housed. Use the script below to call your members of Congress or use the National Low Income Housing Coalition's action center to send an email.


Suggested message:

"My name is ___ and I live/work at ___ . 

I am asking Representative/Senator (your representative) to support robust housing investments at the highest levels in the Build Back Better bill.  Please contact [House or Senate] leadership and the White House and weigh in with your support for robust housing investments in a final bill. Thank you."  

President Biden and congressional leaders need to hear from you and from as many members of Congress as possible in support of essential housing investments included in the Build Back Better Act. The proposed $3.5 trillion bill will be, according to news reports, reduced to around $2 trillion, with housing investments at risk.  

The Build Back Better Act included more than $300 billion in funding for new and existing federal housing programs, including public housing, weatherization, housing services, rental assistance, homeownership supports, and investment in the Housing Credit.  

Contact your senators and representatives and urge them to advocate for robust housing investments at the highest levels in the “Build Back Better Act”

Call your US Representative and U.S. Senator today:    


Suggested message:

"My name is ___ and I live/work at ___ . 

I am asking Representative/Senator (your representative) to support robust housing investments at the highest levels in the Build Back Better bill.  Please contact [House or Senate] leadership and the White House and weigh in with your support for robust housing investments in a final bill. Thank you."

Join our Sign-on Letter by October 14, 9 am, for Housing Investments in the Build Back Better Bill:  

MHP is coordinating a sign-on letter that will be sent to all Minnesota Members of Congress. The letter asks for their support for robust housing investments in a final bill. Please let us know if you will co-sign this important letter by 9 am on Thursday October 14.  

Read the full text of the letter and sign-on here.  


Touching down on the runway of BRW airport in Utqiaġvik, Alaska (the community formerly known as Barrow), we could already tell from the views of ice floes in the Arctic Ocean and mossy tundra that we were in for a new experience. In late June 2021, Warren Kramer, Community Development Director, and Ella Mitchell, Community Development Officer, met with team members of Taġiuġmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority (TNHA), a beneficiary through the HUD Rural Capacity Building 2018 grant. After over nine months of working together virtually, the team was excited to meet in person for a week and see with their own eyes what it’s like to work on housing in Alaska’s North Slope Borough.  Utqiaġvik is a community of 4,500+- people and is the northernmost city/town in the US, located north of the  Arctic Circle.

Griffin Hagle, Executive Director of TNHA, graciously picked up MHP staff at the airport and brought us on a driving tour of Utqiaġvik, pointing out TNHA properties and unique building techniques, as well as local landmarks like the tribal college and hospital. A whole range of unique, cold climate construction materials and techniques are used in housing development when building on permafrost.  Construction materials must all be transported by ocean barges to Utqiaġvik from Anchorage.  They say the first $150,000 of housing development cost, per unit, is the transportation costs of the construction materials.  A primary focus of the visit was to finish the strategic planning process we’d started months earlier, with TNHA staff and board members.  TNHA is governed by Board members who represent the six native Alaskan villages TNHA serves. Since there are no roads connecting these six villages, the board members need to fly into Utqiaġvik to participate in board meetings and the strategic planning work.  Dr. Pearl Brower, a longtime Utqiaġvik resident and former president of Iḷisaġvik College, facilitated these meetings, leading the group in team building activities and discussions about the future of TNHA. The final product was an approved Strategic Plan that will guide TNHA’s work for the next several years.

In between sessions, the group enjoyed pastries homemade by very talented TNHA staff, participated in a weekly group walk around town hosted by the Mayor’s office and even caught a glimpse of the annual whaling festival, Nalukataq. Utqiaġvik is a  centuries old whaling village which is still a significant part of the community’s culture and economy.  Some 32 teams of local whalers went out in pursuit of bowhead whales in 2021.  22 of those whaling teams successfully harvested a whale this year.

We were also able to tour a 29-unit apartment built in 1977 that TNHA is in the process of renovating with funding from HUD and other entities. Some other highlights of the trip included a delicious barbecue dinner hosted by Griffin and his wife Kelly, a tour of the NOAA Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory where researchers around the world are tracking weather and climate change data, and a visit to the Iñupiat Heritage Center to learn more about local native history and culture.

While North Slope communities share many housing challenges with other rural and tribal communities in the United States, they also face unique challenges due to their extreme remoteness and unique physical environment. Sustainable housing solutions are a critical innovation need as these communities are directly impacted by the effects of climate change, including tundra subsidence and sea level rise. For example, all housing in the area is built on piers or stilts so that the heat from the building does not thaw the permafrost beneath the home. More recently, sled rails have been added to cap the stilts so that the structure can be moved if the coastline changes and the community must relocate. Energy efficiency measures such as improved insulations, new windows, and electric stoves are also critical improvements because utility costs can be astronomical in the North Slope’s deep winters and indoor air quality during these months can be a major issue. MHP’s successful trip to Utqiaġvik brought these issues to life as staff were able to see in person the real issues and challenges of working in this remote region, as well as the strengths and commitment of our beneficiary up there, TNHA. ~Ella Mitchell


This October 19 MHP presents the Housing Institute Summit in Rochester, MN. The hybrid in-person/live virtual access event will provide the opportunity to network with other community teams, funders, developers, and to learn more on key topics such as grant management, naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH), community design process, green communities’ standards and more. There will be multiple tracks for teams and participants to follow depending on their project goals, and the opportunity to present project concepts to funders and developers for feedback. The all-day summit kicks off with keynote speaker Jennifer Ho, Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. All Housing Institute #7 (HI-7) participants are invited to attend the conference.