Minnesota Housing Partnership Candidate Questionnaire (supported by Homes for All)
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: John Howe
City/Town: RED WING
Legislative District: N/A (Secretary of State candidate)
District Issues: How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?
As a property owner and manager, I understand the dynamics of the Minnesota housing market very well.
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?
As Secretary of State, I will make ensure that we have quality, licensed builders, contractors and remodelers in Minnesota.
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?
Minnesota needs to continue to work towards getting higher paying job opportunities by improving our business climate.
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?
No one should be homeless in Minnesota, I will work hard to get more affordable housing developers in our state.
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?
We need to educate seniors on all available options, including financing options.
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?
Minnesota needs to encourage homeownership with tax credits that are designed specifically for low-income individuals and families.
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?
By improving our business climate we can and will be able to provide a helping hand to those in 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?
One option is to eliminate the many different property tax rate classifications in Minnesota's tax system. Currently, we have approximately 48 different rates. Some of the tax revenue savings could be allocated to a dedicated fund to address this specific issue.