MN Housing Tax Credit to leverage private dollars for urgent shortage of affordable homes

The MN #HousingTaxCredit (HF 1156) was heard in the House Taxes Committee this week. We’re so grateful to our testifiers (pictured right and quoted below) for making a strong case for the bill, endorsed by more than 70 organizations statewide! Read on for a press release on the legislation.

Like many Minnesota communities, there are few places affordable to people filling essential jobs in Savage – from teachers and childcare providers, to grocery store workers and more. 

“To be successful, we need more affordable housing,” Savage Mayor Janet Williams said. “We need another tool in our toolbox.” 

Statewide, there’s a growing consensus that affordable housing is essential to economic growth, addressing racial disparities, and ensuring families can make ends meet. Minnesotans are ready for solutions. That’s why Rep. Brad Tabke (DFL-55A) has authored House File 1156 establishing the Minnesota Housing Tax Credit. The measure would provide a tax credit to community members or businesses who contribute to affordable housing development. 

“There’s a growing, cross-sector consensus that our communities need affordable homes to prosper, and we are not meeting these needs,” Rep. Tabke said. “Without a significant investment leveraging private market participation, Minnesota will continue to lose more affordable homes than it creates.”

The Housing Tax Credit is modeled after a successful program in North Dakota, which leveraged $5 for every $1 invested. Statewide, 69 organizations have endorsed the Housing Tax Credit, including Homes for All MN, a coalition of more than 230 members. 

“This legislation is about neighbors helping neighbors create affordable homes in their community,” Rep. Tabke said. 

 Small business owner Marie Rivers is struggling to retain employees at her clog factory in Chisago City. “People simply can’t find an affordable place to live,” Rivers said. “My employees move to the Twin Cities and ultimately quit because the commute just isn’t feasible. We need solutions now.” 

 As construction costs and interest rates rise, affordable housing development becomes nearly impossible without additional public investment. “We need more state investment to pair with local and private funds,” said Sarah Larson, an experienced housing developer with Landon Group. “Otherwise, we can’t expect different results.” 

 Danielle Swift, a policy advocate with Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing and an anti-displacement organizer with the Frogtown Neighborhood in St. Paul, points out that affordable housing impacts every aspect of our lives – and that without it, we can’t address other pressing issues impacting Minnesota communities. 

 “We need to invest in affordable housing,” Swift said. “It’s really just the right thing to do.”