Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Alice Hausman

City/Town: St. Paul

Legislative District: 66A

Party: DFL

1: A national poll in May 2020 found that 78% of the public believes our elected leaders are not putting enough attention on people’s need for help to pay for their housing during the coronavirus outbreak. What do you believe is the role of government in ensuring everyone has access to housing?

We should be doing far more than we are. The Dayton task force report outlined much of that work. Minnesota Housing's base budget, GO bonding for public housing, and housing infrastructure bonds can all play a part in solving our state housing crisis.

2: In Minnesota, 80 of 87 counties do not have the capacity to provide sufficient shelter or temporary housing to those who are homeless. Nationally, a study of US cities found that 25 percent of all requests for emergency shelter went unmet. What will you do to end homelessness? 

I will continue to work on all of the issues noted in question 1. I will author bills, take part in community conversations, and work with legislative colleagues to accomplish this.

3: According to the Census Bureau's July 22 Household Pulse Survey for Minnesota, and Stout’s analysis of this data, there are 132,000 potential eviction filings over the next 4 months in Minnesota. Over 90% of evictions in Minnesota are for non-payment of rent. What will you do to prevent evictions?

I support the Governor's moratorium on evictions but we have to accompany that with housing assistance to assure that bills are paid so that we do not have massive evictions when the moratorium is lifted.

4: Being denied where to live because of race, family status, or disability is discrimination. In Minnesota, 53% more whites are homeowners than Black residents, a statistic that dwarfs the national racial homeownership gap of 30%. What meaningful steps will you take to address the root problems of racial disparities in housing?

This is a disgrace that must be addressed. Every policy, every program, every decision that influences where funding is directed needs to be scrutinized through this lense. And we have to assure that people of Color are at the table.

5: Our housing crisis includes a lack of safe, stable homes in Minnesota. The 2018 Minnesota Task Force on Housing identified a need for 300,000 new ownership and rental homes over the next decade. While there are 180,000 Minnesota renters with incomes at 30% area median income, only 100 units affordable to these families are produced each year. What steps will you take to support Minnesotans’ access to homes, especially for under resourced households?

We need to assure different housing models--tiny homes, rooming houses, modular housing. One size does not fit all. We need to assure that some HIB funding builds 3 and 4 bedroom apartments. Concern for under resourced households needs to guide our budget decisions.

6: More than ever, the public understands the connection between housing and health, as well as education, transportation, and more. What housing-based strategy would you use to improve health outcomes for Minnesotans?

Permanent supportive housing is a model that works, with services right there.

7: Over 188,000 Minnesota renter households between the ages of 25 and 44 are income-qualified to purchase a home but continue to rent, including 64,000 households of color. What steps will you take to increase opportunities for renters to purchase homes, condos, or cooperative ownership models, if they choose?

Programs available through Minnesota Housing and other state agencies need to be funded to help accomplish this. Also, community based models are successful. There is interesting work happening in north Minneapolis where they build on community based assets to help residents make the transition from rental to home ownership. I hope to have an interim hearing to have community leaders talk about this.

8: Including community recommendations when developing policies and programs is a best practice for effective and lasting solutionsHow will you include those impacted by housing needs in developing and implementing housing solutions?

Answer 7 begins that discussion. Our Housing committee will provide a place for those voices.