Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Jay Xiong
City/Town: St. Paul
Legislative District: 67B
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 child of refugee immigrants who was born and raised in public housing and lost his first home to foreclosure and experienced homelessness, it is a priority for me -- that's why I ran for public office and have championed legislation to ensure we have a holistic approach to address 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?
Housing insecurity and homelessness have been greater issues since the 2008 recession. We have seen homelessness and housing insecurity go from the urban core to the suburbs and rural areas. I understand that although I represent the east side of St. Paul, I am a voice for all Minnesotans because our policies affect the whole state. All 87 counties expect us to work hard for them. That’s how I have always seen my role. And I will continue to fight for resources to help our state, our governor, counties and nonprofit sector address the issues of homelessness. I will continue to build strong partnerships with county Continuum of Care institutions, build relations with the local churches and nonprofits which serve all people, and fight hard to ensure we pass laws which address issues of deep rooted systematic poverty and economic inequality, which lie at the heart of homelessness.
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 are fortunate that we have such a great ally in the Governor’s office whose policies in this pandemic I fully support. Governor Walz has used federal CARES Act funding to help Minnesotans pay their mortgage and rents. If we had cooperative colleagues in the Senate, we could do something similar in the legislature. My House colleagues have pushed for emergency services grants to provide essential services to homeless people. Sadly, our counterparts in the Senate do not have the same priorities. But that doesn’t mean we stop. I will always keep fighting to support people who have the least resources among us.