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Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Bud Nornes

City/Town: Fergus Falls 

Legislative District: 8A

Party: Republican

District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?

Shortage of low to moderate priced housing.

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?

There was a time when homeowners moved up overtime to larger homes allowing first home buyers to buy their first starter home. There should be more housing developments to encourage the natural movement of first time home buyers. Habitat is very helpful but can’t build enough homes to make an impact. The State needs to be an active partner in finding solutions. K

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?

Today it takes two incomes to purchase and maintain a home. The need for workers today will naturally increase wages while business struggle to compete for business. My wife and I were married three years before even thinking of home ownership. It then took help from a parent to cover the down payment. I think the same synario is an option today.

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?

Serious in the Twin Cities. Not as apparent in greater Minnesota. Finding ways to find help and employment is a solution rather than just housing them indefinitely.

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?

Tough question. Seniors already have subsidized housing in many communities but the supply is inadequate. Youth can find housing on campuses or share apartments to lower housing cost.

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?

This is not an issue where I represent. I think the situation improves as jobs and incomes increase. That’s currently being impacted by actions of our federal girl.

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?

There needs to be renewed efforts to encourage partnerships between public and private sources to build housing. Locally I have seen renewed interest in building apartment buildings....some market rate and some subsidized. Housing is a key to a growing community.

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 will support whatever is a reasonable amount of funding to meet the need.