Omnibus bills come into shape: Here’s what’s in them for housing

Omnibus, omnibus! With the third deadline looming April 9 for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills, many omnibus bills have passed out of committees this week, with more to come. An omnibus bill packages several smaller bills into one bill; it can include appropriations and policy items. Each committee will need to stay within the budget target that has been set by leadership. MHP session priorities remain in play, including funding for NOAH properties, 4d property tax enhancements, source of income protections, Local Housing Trust Fund state match, and more. See MHP’s list of policy priorities here.

  • House Housing Finance and Policy committee approved its bill on party lines on April 7, with appropriations increases totaling $30 million. An overview from Session Daily is here; a spreadsheet showing bill impacts is here. Some highlights include:
    • $6.5 million for the preservation and rehabilitation of inexpensive multiunit rental housing that does not receive federal subsidies (NOAH properties);
    • $3 million in grants for local housing trust funds, out of which local governments award grants for housing development, rental assistance and more;
    • Policy creating an opportunity to purchase for residents of manufactured home parks;
    • Eviction reform policy, including changes to the eviction expungement process.
    • Ensuring Tribes are eligible recipients of capacity building grants.
  • Senate Housing Finance and Policy has revealed its bill with plans for a vote on April 8. A spreadsheet for SF969 is here, and summary is here. Highlights include:
    • $3.2 million for the workforce homeownership program;
    • $1.5 million for manufactured home park infrastructure grants;
    • ($2.0 million) reduction to the Challenge program;
    • Inclusion of an evictions moratorium phaseout.
  • House Taxes: The House Taxes Committee will likely see a vote on Thursday April 8. An overview of the bill’s highlights is here. Housing specific provisions include:
    • appropriates $15 million annually from the proceeds of the mortgage registry and deed taxes to the commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for transfer into the workforce and affordable homeownership development account;
    • a new homelessness prevention fund would provide $25 million in annual aid to counties beginning in fiscal year 2023;
    • requires the commissioner of revenue, in consultation with Minnesota Housing, to produce a report on class 4d property and on local 4d affordable housing programs, including an analysis of the impact of reducing the classification rate of the first-tier of 4d property to 0.25 percent, by January 15, 2022;
    • Provides special tax increment financing authority to the cities of Fridley, Minnetonka, Richfield, and St Louis Park for affordable housing purposes; for Minnetonka, Richfield, and St Louis Park authority includes the transfer of some portion of increment generated from districts to each city’s affordable housing trust fund;
    • Increases to the renter’s credit, including increase to the maximum credit and increasing the income cap to $64,300 (by $3,000).
  • House Judiciary, Finance and Civil law: The House Judiciary Committee approved its omnibus bill which included source of income protections, protecting renters from discrimination based on paying the rent with rental assistance.