Governor Dayton Prioritizes Housing
This past Wednesday, Governor Dayton introduced his 2014 bonding proposal, in advance of the 2014 legislative session (which begins on February 25). The proposal includes $50 million for housing investment, which would be the largest bonding investment for housing in Minnesota history. Advocates, including MHP, are grateful to Governor Dayton for prioritizing housing in his budget, and are thrilled with this “running start” to a session that puts housing first!
Homes for All, an advocacy alliance of local and state housing and homelessness organizations, recognizes the extensive needs of Minnesota’s homeless and low-income residents and is requesting that the bonding amount be increased to $100 million. This would jump-start the $1.1 billion in shovel-ready projects waiting for funding and complete overdue public housing repairs. The Minneapolis Star Tribune expressed its support for this $100 million level in its January 10 editorial.
Familiar with personal stories of the tremendous pressure on low income families in a tight housing, rental and job market, advocates seek to remind legislators that having a stable home is the foundation for maximizing our state investment in all other areas, including health care, education, and job growth. For more details, see the one page Homes For All Legislative Agenda.
The Governor’s budget includes $40 million for Housing Infrastructure Bonds. These bonds will be used to preserve federally subsidized rental housing; to acquire and rehabilitate or replace foreclosed properties; and to expand the availability of supportive housing units, which combine housing with other social services. It also includes $10 million in General Obligation Bonds to rehabilitate public housing in communities throughout the state.
Housing is on page 5 of the budget proposal summary issued by the Governor’s Office. Homes for All thanks the Governor for his leadership and is looking forward to working together this session.
Last year’s session culminated with lawmakers approving increased funding for affordable housing and homeless services by a total of $33 million for 2014-15. This tremendous success was due to the shared priorities of the Homes for All coalition partners. We hope to leverage this success into another successful year at the Capitol.
The Homes for All alliance advances shared policy initiatives that lead to housing stability for all Minnesotans.