Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Kaohly Her
City/Town: Saint Paul
Legislative District: 64A
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
The housing needs in 64A for renters and for homeowners are to help sustain the growth and diversity of the state by widening access to affordable, high-quality homes/rental properties and home-ownership across the income levels for everyone to access.
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?
I will take steps to encourage the production of more affordable homes by: 1) built or rehabilitate homes that are sound proof and environmentally safe 2) have sustainable programs for seniors and people with disabilities 3) advocate with housing organizations and/or coaltions for affordable housing 4) invest in our human and capital infrastructure; education, housing, equity, transportation, health care, jobs so that households do not need make sacrifices in other areas like and medicine to make ends meet.
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 will continue to champion to address the growing gap between what workers can afford and housing costs by listening and following bills that will have impact on those affected by full-time minimum wage worker in industries. I will invest by visiting and having continued conversation with employees and industries on how make housing affordable.
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?
I will work and partner with organizations to address the needs for more funds to help get more affordable housing options. I will also explore options such as rehabilitating homes, tiny homes and loan programs that will help address and improve homelessness, for individuals or families.
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?
I will work to secure greater investments in early childhood education and fight to restore funding for public education to pre-recession levels. I will work to ensure housing policy and resources support Minnesota's seniors and students housing by prioritizing the issues in the Minnesota legislative session.
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?
Raising the minimum wage is not enough. I will address the housing needs of our growing Minnesota population, improve food security, provide access to transportation, and ensure affordable healthcare in order to break the cycle of poverty.
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?
I will advocate to get more funding to help expand access to housing assistance to every household that needs it. I will partner with MHP and find working solutions to solve recent and on going issues that we can help reduce homelessness.
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?
Yes. I will support a dedicated source of funding for affordable housing. I grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, a paper town where my father worked at the local paper factory and my mother as a teacher’s aide. As our family expanded, my parents worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. There were periods of my life where my family struggled financially but my parents never gave up on the dream of what America could provide.