Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Lyndon R. Carlson
Legislative District: 45A
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
We are a fully developed suburban community. We have about 10 thousand apartment units in the district. Many of the renters in the district are very interested in home ownership. Rental costs and the cost of home ownership are major concerns of many residents.
Availability of Affordable Housing: More than 25% of households in Minnesota pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing, meaning they must sacrifice in other areas like food and medicine to make ends meet. What steps will you take to encourage the production of more affordable homes?
As a State Representative and a member of the Capital Investment Committee I have been and continue to be supportive of increased investments in housing. In addition, as a member of the Tax Committee I have been a strong supporter support of tax policies that can help homeowners and renters.
Workers: A full-time minimum wage worker cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment in any county in Minnesota — and many of the fastest growing jobs are in low-wage industries. What investments or policy would you champion to address the growing gap between what workers can afford and housing costs?
I have been a long time supporter of legislation that would provide a livable wage. In addition, we need to continue to invest in education and job training opportunities.
Homelessness: A lack of affordable housing options is one of the top reasons for homelessness, for individuals or families. What will you do to end homelessness in Minnesota?
We need to increase our investments in affordable housing. In addition, we need to provide more opportunities for public private partnerships.
Seniors and children: More than half of senior renters and more than 1 in 4 senior homeowners pay more than they can afford for housing. Meanwhile, children without stable, affordable housing have lower educational and health outcomes. What will you do to ensure housing policy and resources support Minnesota's seniors and students?
The issue is a housing, health and human services and an education issue. Without stable housing the mobility issue is a major educational problem. Children need a stable environment for learning. Seniors also need stable and affordable housing. A major problem for both retired people and working families is ,transportation. Transportation is key for getting to work, attending school, shopping for groceries or meeting a persons medical needs. They are all issues that go hand in hand.
Racial Disparities: Minnesota's racial disparities in housing are among the worst in the nation, for renters and homeowners. For instance, 22 percent of Black households are homeowners, compared to 76 percent of white households. How will you reduce the racial homeownership gap and other disparities in housing for households of color?
Again, the issue is affordability. We need to address the cost of housing and make sure we are investing in housing in a way that makes home ownership a realistic possibility for all our communities.
Rental Stability: Rental assistance is proven to reduce homelessness, housing instability, and overcrowding, but 75% of residents who qualify for rental assistance do not receive this limited resource. What will you do to expand access to housing assistance to every household that needs it?
We need to expand the rental assistance programs to meet the need. More needs to be done to provide livable wages. Education and job training will need to be part of the solution.
Funding: We cannot meet our growing, statewide housing needs without significant additional resources. Will you support a dedicated source of funding for affordable housing? Why or why not?
I would be supportive of a dedicated source of funding. However, the source of revenue needs to be structured in a way that it would not reduce investments in the vital services that are needed to support the needs of the same population.