Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Patricia Torres Ray
Legislative District: 63
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 need to invest significant funding in affordable housing, implement fair real estate policies, provide subsidies and supports to increase home ownership,.make sure we implement fair taxation so older and retired people can afford to stay in their homes, implement visionary zoning, ensure rent control, provide financial insentives and subsidies for rent applications and down payment, regulate and partner with banking systems and private sector to expand affordable, accessible adequate housing, provide in incentives for energy efficient housing.
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?
We need to invest in emergency shelters and provide flexibility. People who face homelessness also face significant problems with chemical dependency and mental health. We need sheltering services incorporate access to chemical dependency and mental health services.
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?
We need to approve funding to subsidize rent and mortgage payments
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?
Continue to support the collection of data that help us understand the significant disparities that exist in the state. Pass legislation to help more renters get on a pathway to becoming homeowners. Fund programs to preserve, rehabilitate, and build affordable housing, as well as increase access to loans and strengthen government mortgage programs for low income working minorities. Impose a fair tax system to ensure developers pay their fair share.
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?
Support efforts organized by community based organizations like Inquilinx to empower renters. People need to be empowered to advocate for better policies and more resources for affordable housing. We need more attention to housing at all levels of goverment. Counties, Cities and the State need to invest more in affordable housing.and rent subsidies.
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?
I'll support increasing LGA and school funding to increase partnerships between cities and schooldistricts, similar to the partnerships St. Paul and Minneapolis have established to ensure housing permanency for students and families.
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?
Increase funding to implement programs such as "buying the home you rent" provide tax insentives and subsidies to create rent to buy programs. Create program that provide incentives to save for down payments, increase awareness about existing incentives for first time home buyers. .
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?
Connect with organizations who work directly with the community, developing direct relationships with constituents and people who work in these fields, work with City Council members and local elected officials who have direct communication with home owners and renters. Making sure people are invited to legislative hearings and are informed about the Legislative process. Making sure we ask for input.