Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Bonnie Westlin
Legislative District: 9A
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?
As a legislator I will work to make sure our resources such as the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership have the voice they need to allocate funding needed for affordable housing and improve our communities by repairing residential, rental and commercial properties with low cost loans or grants.
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 work to not only assist organizations with funding for shelter facilities, but also push for recovery& retraining services needed to help folks get their lives rebalanced
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?
Safety and accessibility Improvements can help people stay in their homes longer and energy efficiency remodeling helps with affordability and health.
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?
Increasing affordable options and providing clean slates of past eviction, delinquency or foreclosure history from credit reports might help build the ability to commit to ownership.
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?
Community involvement is important when assessing housing needs, hearing how or what people are struggling with also identifies what solutions help.