Session Scoop: House hearing housing bills at a furious pace. In the Senate, not so much.

Sometimes things slow down after a major deadline. Not this session. Now that the March 15 deadline has passed, the House continues to hear housing bills at a furious pace. In the Senate, however, few have been heard.  

Photo: Advocates and legislators at recent meetings on affordable housing. See below for more!

On Thursday March 21, the Senate Taxes Committee heard testimony on the Affordable #HousingTaxCredit (HF 1156 | SF 404). Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks), a bill co-author and one of its most key supporters, attended the hearing to show his support. Thank you to our testifiers Steve Borchardt (Rochester Area Foundation) and Julie Wischnack (Community Development Director, City of Minnetonka)!  

Upcoming Hearings 

On March 27, the House Housing Finance and Policy Division will hear several important bills including a state match for local housing trust funds (HF 1402) and the Homes for All package bill that includes Homes for All-endorsed appropriations requests for Minnesota Housing (HF 1151). Please show your support for these critical investments at 8 am on Wednesday, March 27, Room 200 of the State Office Building. Thanks to Rep. Howard and Rep. Hausman, respectively, for carrying these bills! View the full hearing agenda.

Bills and hearings updates 

The Senate Taxes Committee heard SF 2571, which would modify the Class 4d property tax rate with the purpose of ensuring economic viability of 4d properties. MHP supports this bill. 

The Property Taxes Division heard HF 2349, which would increase the state’s renter’s credit, which has not seen changes since 2015 despite climbing rents. The Department of Revenue estimates that the changes would affect 320,000 current filers, increasing their refund by an average of about $40, and would reward about 49,000 newly eligible filers with a refund averaging $430. Read more from Session Daily.

The House Commerce Committee approved HF 1571, intended to help protect Minnesota’s roughly 1,000 manufactured home parks, a critical source of affordable housing. Manufactured homes represent the largest source of affordable home ownership in the state. Read more from Session Daily.

On March 20 the Housing Finance and Policy Division heard several bills:

  • HF 964: Housing supports for persons with mental illnesses
  • HF 1007: Lead safe homes grant program
  • HF 1506: Voicemail services for homeless and low-income populations
  • HF 2542: Minnesota Bond Allocation Act modified

MHP’s executive director Anne Mavity testified in support of HF 2542, which amends Minnesota bond statute, in line with the agreement of the tax-exempt bond steering committee, to develop more rental housing.

Bill introductions 

  • HF 2336: Appropriation for nonprofit capacity building grants 
  • HF 2495: Legislative Commission on Housing Affordability 
  • HF 2526: Housing mediation eviction prevention program.  
  • HF 2563: Pilot program providing grants for housing infrastructure 
  • HF 2593: Right to counsel in certain public housing eviction actions 
  • HF 2601: Workforce and affordable homeownership development program 

GET ENGAGED

Sign up for our legislative update calls! The next call will take place on Friday, April 5 at 10am.  

Sign up to advocate with MHP Wednesdays at the Capitol! Let us know when you can come, and we’ll do the work to schedule meetings with lawmakers and prepare you for the day.

Thank you!

Photo: Thank you to legislators Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL-52B) and Senators Matt Klein (DFL-52), Mark Johnson (R-1), Tom Bakk (DFL-3) and John Jasinski (R-24) and to advocates Tom O’ Neil (Dougherty Mortgage), Theresa Nesbitt (Metro Plains), Jennifer Melton (Volunteers of America), Ken Isaacson (Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation), Harry Melander (MN Building Trades), Paul Williams (PPL) and Chris Palkowitsch (BKV Group) for productive conversations at the Capitol! Sign up to advocate with MHP.