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Follow MHP Connect for a variety of coverage on housing and community development news in Minnesota and across the nation.

As has been reported by Minnesota Public Radio and advocacy groups, rental assistance programs are already being scaled back in Minnesota in anticipation of cuts to the state’s 2012-13 budget. Minnesota Housing, which administers the rental assistance program in question, has frozen the availability of state-funded housing assistance for low income households as it plans for a smaller program.

This week, MHP Connect features new studies on housing instability and children, housing needs among people with disabilities, and three new national resources for rental preservation and advocacy.

It could be that death by a thousand cuts will be the best description for Congress’ treatment of federal housing programs. The budget compromise for FY 2011 reached at the eleventh hour last Friday averted a government shutdown, but these reductions leave a number of housing programs severely hobbled.

On Monday, a bill was introduced to spur affordable housing development through a state tax credit. The tax credit, backed by the HousingJobs Campaign, would help fund rental housing intended for low- and moderate-income people. 

At least half of all state or federally-funded rental housing developed in the state of Minnesota currently depends upon federal housing tax credits for the projects to be viable. This new proposal would expand the number of projects that would move forward.