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

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Sue Larson

City/Town: Ham Lake

Legislative District: 31B

Party: DFL

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

There is a huge demand for all types of housing. Housing must be affordablr.

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?

The Cities of my district need to be more aware of the needs. Then work with developers to assist in planning for housing. Working with the federal and state government for a funding source to assist

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?

Service jobs need to be supported. Many small businesses need assistance to stay in business with higher costs to maintain employees. Housing has to become more affordable and more available.

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?

Campaign for more available housing that's affordable. 'No more then 30percent of a person's wages, or social security.'

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?

Working with seniors and the disabled housing has given me a lot of prospective in this area. I have come to understand the struggles to pay for housing and balance out what's left for food and medical costs. Let alone the transportation for getting where they need to go. Looking at what they will have to go without for the month. Families struggle in the same way. No one adult or child should have to go without basic needs. We need to ensure this for our people. Grants and funding sources are a must, to provide.

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 treat people equally. Educational opportunities are important to make sure everyone is trained for the workforce. Childcare must be available and affordable. This is important for the health and welfare of our 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?

Training and education for all to understand how rental assistance works. What each can do to help is important. Ensuring this assistance is available and funded is important to ensure availability to all.

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?

This is an issue that warrants our attention. Without housing, many will not be able to hold a job, while supporting their needs as well as there families needs.