Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Myron Wilson
Legislative District: 15B
Party: Independent - unaffiliated
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
It varies by area in the district, from non-existent to a plentiful.
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?
We need to eliminate many regulations, we need to make government less expensive and institute tort reform to help bring the cost of housing down. Zoning laws need to be simplified and less restrictive on housing. We need reasonableness in building codes. Maybe even a way to waive some. I live in a 130 year old farm house, which I remodeled a few years ago. The codes were not designed for a place built back then, it added extra costs to the home that were not needed when all we wanted to do was improve it for us. (this is an old farm house added onto many times While I wanted to make it safer I also wanted a more energy efficient home. In my opinion some of the requirements were over kill, like adding hard wired fire detectors in areas we had no intention of changing.)
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?
We need to end the government subsidies which allow some industries to hire at less than minimum wage in reality. We need to drive wages up by ending illegals in the work force. We need to stop taking in over 1% of any area with refugees as that hurts the local economy by lower wages and lack of housing.
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 better mental health facilities. I like the idea of tiny houses for the homeless, maybe based on income or lack of. This would not be fancy housing but basic structures to get them out of the weather. Because we are a free society I doubt we can end homelessness, but we sure can do better than we are now. I am open to any ideas presented to me on any of these issues.
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 think any idea that helps either should be looked at and balanced against financial needs. We need to have major changes in education funding and outcomes. A student without the opportunity to get the through the highest level of education they are capable of and desire is a loss for us all. I believe seniors deserve housing they can afford (as does everyone). We have to look at what and how we take care of seniors. I think we may have to look at tax rebates or credits for family members that take in parents or grandparents. In generations past it was the norm and created stronger family ties. Families of working kids benefit from the oldsters being there to assist around the home, Kids benefit from having elders to look up too. As I am older and approaching those years faster than many answering this survey, I find the thought of living with my grandkids at some date to be comforting because of the aid I could give them and to leave my descendants with my memory, a type of legacy.
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?
We need to have better education outcomes for blacks. We need to provide opportunities for better careers. Home ownership is tied to income we need to give a hand up to many minorities so they can join the ranks of home owners. We need to provide jobs or chances of self employment that actually support home ownership.
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 do not know enough about this program at this time to respond this. Sorry.
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?
No. I believe we need to work on the underlying problems of lack of education or training, meaningful employment and overly burdensome laws and regulations to solve these problems. Taxing more so even more cannot afford their homes is not the answer. Tax cuts require less spending, tax cuts will do more than anything else to spur affordable housing.