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

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Thomas Trehus

City/Town: Spring Grove

Legislative District: 28B

Party: DFL

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

There is a lack of midsize family homes for purchase and a lack of rental units for singles or couples.

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 support many of MHP's policy agenda items. Affordable housing is a right and every Minnesotan should have access to a safe and affordable dwelling.

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?

Create public-private partnerships using incentives and tax credits. Create incentives and matching funds for local governments to invest in affordable 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?

Provide support to local governments and organizations in order to house the homeless populations. We also need a bonding bill that addresses housing.

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?

Create incentives and state funding matches to build affordable senior housing and housing for students and families.

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?

Provide adequate transportation options near housing and encourage more mixed-type housing. We should also do a better job of educating the public about home ownership and money management.

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?

Do more to support local agencies and organizations like SEMCAC in SE MN who can provide targeted support. I would also support and incentivize rent-controlled apartments.

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. A dwelling to call home is a right, and it is essential for a productive society.