Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Benjamin Dolan

City/Town: Appleton

Legislative District: 17A

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?

I believe the Government should assist in helping the people find affordable 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? 

I will help the Counties in my State to help meet the needs of those who are without homes and improve the less than sufficient housing that some people have. All counites should be able to meet emergency requirements. I will work hard on day 1 to ensure counties have enough to meet these needs.

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 will work with others in the legislature to help those with potential evictions. No one should lose their home due to Covid.
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?

work on passing laws that punish discrimination based on those factors as well laws that will encourage first generation homeownership

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? 
work towards increasing the out put of affordable housing every year. Anyone that has to pay over 30% of their income for housing is put into a bad situation to make ends meet elsewhere. We have to focus a lot more affordable housing in areas not just in the twin cities, along with that help create better paying jobs statewide.
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?
Shelter is a basic need that we all require. Living on the street or couch surfing is not good for ones health. Medical bills, rent, mortgage. It is far too hard to climb out of poverty now. Being poor in our country should not be a death sentence.
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? 
I feel that many people around my generation are strapped with college debt. I would work to make college more affordable. One should not have to go into thousands of debt to get a degree. Even if you work fulltime its hard to come out of college without debt.
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? 

I will work with local communities to understand their housing needs. This is important to me, I want children in our area to have a safe and stable home. I want senior citizens living on a fixed income to feel confident in their housing situation. I want working people to be able to afford good housing.