Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Athena Hollins
City/Town: St Paul
Legislative District: 66B
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?
The government needs to ensure that we have statewide investments and strategies to address homelessness and the increasing home prices that displace our neighbors. We need the government to improve our current housing stock, and we need to hold predators in the housing market accountable for their actions and create policy to prevent future abuse.
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?
Immediately, we need to increase the amount of emergency housing that is available to these individuals. However, temporary, emergency housing is only a short-term solution. We need to make sure that they have the support to find housing and work to eliminate some of the barriers that have made it difficult for those individuals to find housing. In the long-term, we need to take steps to increase the housing stock, whether it is through bonding bills at the state level or making sure that cities are able to have sufficient funds for the development of affordable housing units and individual aid.
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 an extended moratorium on evictions until we have a structural solution that protects people’s ability to stay in their homes through the duration of the COVID crisis.