Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Tamara Calhoun
City/Town: Saint Cloud
Legislative District: 14A
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?
Much healthier for the individual, family and society to have people in housing. Investing to be sure people are able to have access to affordable housing, pays in larger returns in more people contributing their fair share to society, reduces health care and public safety costs.
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?
Complex. Increase access to affordable mental health, affordable drug rehabilitation, affordable housing, jobs and affordable health care.
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 realize that there has been a great amount of money put into the system already for helping people to pay their rent. I would look at data which shows who and where the needs are yet and what factors are contributing to the needs. In the end, it is less costly to invest in preventing evictions and help people stay in housing than it is for people to be experiencing homelessness.
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?
Financial support to those who have still not been able to return to their jobs; low interest rates for people of color; stop predatory lending.
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?
I propose that each rental complex have a certain percentage of units used for affordable housing.
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?
Rental housing inspections. Affordable housing near schools and transportation hubs. Green space for leisure and socializing to build relationships within the community.
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?
Education. Some people may not know how to purchase a home or what is required to take care of a home. What is the expected upkeep; yard, working utilities, internal and external repairs, parking area.
8: Including community recommendations when developing policies and programs is a best practice for effective and lasting solutions. How will you include those impacted by housing needs in developing and implementing housing solutions?
To have diversity in decision-making, diverse groups need to be at the decision-making table. They will be included at the table.