Why I’m Co-Chairing Mayor Frey’s Affordable Housing Task Force

{modal url=”https://mhponline.org/images/CB-Households-updated-01.png”}{/modal}In politics and public opinion, affordable housing is at a tipping point. For years, MHP has been at the forefront of advancing smart policies and innovative ideas to create housing stability for all Minnesotans and, right now, significant and lasting advances are within reach.

Like many other municipalities across the Twin Cities, affordable housing was a top issue in the Minneapolis city elections. Perhaps most notably, Mayor-elect Jacob Frey brought front-and-center the need for a new, dedicated, permanent revenue source to meet the city’s growing housing needs — especially our lowest-income families.

For several years, MHP has been working in collaboration with researchers, policymakers and community leaders to seed the discussion about a Home Grown revenue source that could help meet the housing needs of our lowest-income families. Right now, more than 93,000 low-income families in the Twin Cities region pay more than half of their income on rent (image right) — and the population of cost-burdened families continues to grow as rents rise and affordable housing options become more and more scarce.

With Minneapolis as a key regional leader, we’re committed to seizing this important moment to help shape a bold, equitable and truly transformative housing agenda for the incoming administration. That’s why I’m delighted to serve as co-chair of Mayor-elect Frey’s Housing Advisory Task Force along with Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and Tom Streitz, President of Twin Cities R!se. We share a belief that creating and retaining a sufficient affordable housing throughout the region is essential to meeting the regional economic needs of employers and supporting workers and their families, allowing for socio-economically diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, and achieving racial equity.

Together, over the next several months, our task force will engage a broad coalition of stakeholders and regional partners to create a set of policy recommendations based on current City Policy and initiatives to guide the Mayor Elect in promoting and implementing strategies to increase the city’s supply in all neighborhoods and regional distribution of affordable housing. 

Clearly, we can’t do this alone. We need strong engagement and input from local organizations and directly impacted communities to lift up solutions that will have a real impact on the lives of households that contribute so much to our community despite deep housing challenges. So, in coming weeks, we’ll be convening several Community Roundtables addressing housing stability, housing creation and housing as a driver of economic vitality. Stay tuned to the MHP blog and social media to engage in these critical discussions, so your voice can be heard.

Inspired and informed by the passion of community members and policy makers, I’m hopeful 2018 will be the catalyst for a Home Grown initiative that creates long-term resources to tips the scales toward ending housing instability in Minneapolis — and across the region.

Tune in tomorrow — Wednesday, January 3 — at 2 p.m. for a Facebook Live discussion with the Mayor Elect and the task force co-chairs.