MHP State and Federal Legislative Updates series is a vital source of information about housing policy at the state and federal levels. These calls bring together housing practitioners and advocates, state lawmakers, national researchers, and members of Congress every other Friday to discuss urgent and emerging housing issues.
Held virtually, these calls are open to anyone who cares about housing in Minnesota.
The next MHP State and Federal Legislative Update will be: Friday, March 19 at 9am.
Past events in the series:
Date: Mar. 5, 2021
Guests: MN Sen. Zach Duckworth (R - Lakeville), MN Rep. Michael Howard (D - Richfield) and Ben Passer of Fresh Energy and Metric Giles of Community Stabilization Project
Summary: Sen. Zach Duckworth (R - Lakeville) and Rep. Michael Howard (DFL - Richfield) joined us to highlight the housing priorities of their respective caucuses; with budget targets for committees soon forthcoming, the lawmakers identified challenges ahead in negotiating to agreement even as both emphasized their commitment to housing affordability. Our remaining speakers emphasized the connection between energy and housing affordability and race equity issues embedded within. MHP welcomed Ben Passer of Fresh Energy who provided an overview of the Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Network (MMAHEN) and its work to center equity in both energy and housing. Metric Giles of Community Stabilization Project closed out our program with a powerful call for strategic investments and intentional inclusion of race equity in policy formation, as well as an overview of CSP's work.
Date: Feb. 19, 2021
Guests: U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D - Minneapolis), MN Rep. Fue Lee (D - Minneapolis) and Jon Gutzmann
Summary: U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar highlighted the most up to date actions from the federal level and outlined what might be in store for the coming months. MHP also welcomed Chair of the Minnesota House of Representative's Capital Investment Committee Rep. Fue Lee. Chair Lee emphasized the need for robust housing investments through bonding and encouraged advocates to continue to build momentum by engaging their legislators. Finally, we heard from St. Paul PHA's Executive Director, Jon Gutzmann, who outlined the needs and challenges currently facing public housing.
Date: Feb. 5, 2021
Guests: Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho, Sen. Rich Draheim (R - Northfield), Dave Anderson of All Parks Alliance for Change and Natividad Seefeld of Park Plaza Cooperative
Summary: We heard reflections on the governors proposed budget and accompanying policy proposals from Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho. Next, Chair of the Minnesota Senate Housing Finance and Policy Committee Sen. Rich Draheim outlined his priorities for this legislative session and emphasized the need to think outside the box. Finally, Dave Anderson, Executive Director of All Parks Alliance for Change and Natividad Seefeld, President of Park Plaza Cooperative provided an overview of the proposed state policy changes around manufactured housing and what those changes could mean for residents.
Date: Jan. 22, 2021
Guests: Rep Kaohly Her (D - St. Paul), Rep. Aisha Gomez (D - Minneapolis), Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin and Sarah Saadian
Summary: We were honored to hear from state lawmakers House Majority Whip Kaohly Her (D - St. Paul), and Chair of the Preventing Homelessness Division Rep. Aisha Gomez (D - Minneapolis). Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe discussed housing challenges experienced by Native communities. And, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Vice President of Public Policy, Sarah Saadian, provided an update on advocacy for emergency rental assistance and the next phase of COVID relief advocacy efforts.
Date: Jan. 3, 2021
Guests: Sen. Tina Smith, Reps. Alice Hausman and Tama Theis
Summary: Senator Smith highlighted key provisions in the recent Federal COVID relief funding package. Sen. Smith played a pivotal role in securing the inclusion of several priorities in the final bill, including the Tribal Access to Homeless Assistance Act and the Native American Housing Affordability Act. MHP also welcomed Rachel Robinson and Jessica Deegan of Minnesota Housing who provided updates on federal resources for Minnesota from the recent COVID Relief and FY21 spending bill. Finally, MHP was honored to host the Chair and Ranking Minority Member of the Minnesota House of Representative's Housing Finance and Policy Committee. Chair Hausman (DFL- St. Paul) and Representative Theis (R - St. Cloud) discussed their housing priorities and how their visions for the committee align with their respective caucus' agenda. Having served multiple terms each, both shared their insights and predictions for what to expect this session.