First of Four Packages Makes Historic Investment in Safe and Affordable Housing
1/9/2020 1:04:29 PM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced the title and focus of his 2020 capital investment proposal, the Local Jobs and Projects Plan. The Governor also unveiled the first of four packages in this bonding bill: a proposed investment of $276 million in /governor/assets/Building%20One%20Minnesota%20-%20Safe%20and%20Affordable%20Housing_tcm1055-416036.pdfsafe and affordable housing projects across the state. This proposal represents a historic investment in housing that doubles the size of any previous Administration’s bonding proposal.
“We’re working to make sure all Minnesotans can afford to live in the communities they call home,” said Governor Walz. “Whether it’s proximity to work, school, or loved ones, too often Minnesotans can’t find affordable housing near the things that matter most.”
The safe and affordable housing package will preserve existing affordable housing options while also creating new homes for Minnesotans across incomes. This funding will allow for a full range of housing choices, including senior housing, family housing, veteran housing, new homeownership opportunities, and supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
“Every Minnesotan deserves a place to call home,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “That’s why our Local Jobs and Projects Plan is focused on creating safe and affordable housing options in communities across the state. This proposal represents a historic investment in safe and affordable housing across the state.”
Responding to urgent requests from communities in every corner of Minnesota, Governor Walz’s capital investments proposal includes more local projects than any bonding bill in state history. In addition to safe and affordable housing, The Local Jobs and Projects Bill will bolster public safety, increase access to safe drinking water, and invest in our higher education institutions to prepare Minnesota’s future workforce.
Governor Walz knows that local projects mean local jobs. That’s why he believes we need to make these critical capital investments in communities across the state and ensure all Minnesotans enjoy a high quality of life, regardless of race or zip code.
Please see the allocation of funding below.
Housing Infrastructure Bonds
The Governor recommends authorizing the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to sell $200 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds to be awarded statewide on a competitive basis to housing developers. This funding will be used to preserve federally subsidized rental housing; to acquire, rehabilitate, or construct permanent supportive housing; or to acquire land that will be held in community land trusts for single-family home ownership.
Public Housing Rehabilitation
The Governor recommends $60 million for the Public Housing Rehabilitation program to preserve existing public housing and keep it decent, safe, and healthy for residents. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to local public housing authorities across the state.
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Campus Security Upgrades
The Governor recommends $4.2 million to improve physical and electronic security at veterans homes in Hastings, Fergus Falls, Silver Bay, and Luverne. The project would modernize security at these facilities and help to ensure the safety of the veterans in the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs’ (MDVA) care.
The Governor recommends $10.7 million for department-wide asset preservation to maintain veterans homes across the state. This funding will be used to preserve and repair over one million square feet spread over 58 buildings, some of which are over 100 years old, that house approximately 900 client residents. MDVA has an estimated total of $57.8 million in deferred maintenance needs.
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Cambridge Campus Predesign
The Governor recommends $1.2 million for predesign to eliminate the centralized power plant at the Cambridge campus and switch to municipal utilities. Elimination of the centralized power plant will allow redevelopment of the site for future use. The Cambridge facility is designed for residential housing and support services, but is currently underutilized. The predesign funding will be used to explore housing options at the site.