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

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Gail Kulp

City/Town: Alexandria

Legislative District: 8B

Party: DFL

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

We need to make substantial improvements in the quality and quantity of housing, especially for lower income individuals and families.

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?

Continue participation with Community Conversation on Housing, coordinated by West Central MN Community Action, provide MHFCA and HRAs in Alexandria, Douglas and Otter Tail Counties, and Alexandria Area Economic Development with up to date profile data. As a legislator, seek to increase funding available.

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 favor continuing to raise minimum wage, while allowing smaller businesses in small towns to make increases more gradually, attached to the success of the business.

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?

Seek additional funding at state level to address homelessness. Continue to work with Community Housing Conversation to pursue funding and develop emergency housing for homeless.

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?

Work with organizations like yours to continue putting out facts that describe the need and promote actions to address it. Support area Habitat for Humanity affiliates' efforts.

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?

Too many Black households were hurt by the housing collapse of 2008. We need to hold businesses accountable for their greed and use funds secured to address the racial disparities.

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?

Advocate to increase state funding that gets passed along to communities and counties according to their need.

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?