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New Report Highlights Housing Challenges Facing Minnesota Families

3/13/2017 1:18:48 PM

More than 1 in 4 Minnesota households pay more than they can afford for housing, totaling nearly 550,000 families 

Homelessness has declined 9 percent in recent years, but more than 9,300 Minnesotans still faced homelessness in 2015

Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, over $145 million has been invested in more than 5,200 units of safe, affordable housing across Minnesota
ST. PAUL, MN – A new report from the Minnesota Housing Partnership highlights the housing challenges facing Minnesota families across the state. Stable, affordable housing is an essential part of accessing the opportunities Minnesota has to offer, including education, jobs, and quality-of-life. But the State of the State’s Housing 2017 report shows that one out of every four families in Minnesota is paying more than they can afford for housing, and more than 9,300 Minnesotans faced homelessness in 2015.

“Safe, stable, affordable housing is essential to accessing opportunities in our economy, schools, and state,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Thanks to the efforts of state, local, and nonprofit partners, homelessness in Minnesota has declined by nine percent since 2012, but more than one in four households still pay more than they can afford for housing. This new report highlights the need to make the kinds of housing investments included in Governor Dayton’s Opportunity Agenda, to expand opportunities for every Minnesota family, everywhere in our state.”
Across the state, rents are rising, and hardworking Minnesotans are having trouble finding affordable housing. This housing crunch impacts families, businesses, and economies across Minnesota. Statewide, nearly 550,000 Minnesota families pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing; and while the homeless rate has declined by nine percent since 2012, more than 9,300 Minnesotans still experienced homelessness in 2015, including nearly 3,500 children.
This year, Governor Dayton is proposing significant investments as part of his Opportunity Agenda for a Better Minnesota, to make safe, stable, and affordable housing more accessible for families across Minnesota. These proposals follow past investments under Governor Dayton’s leadership of over $145 million, which have supported more than 5,200 units of safe, affordable housing across Minnesota, since 2012.
Governor Dayton’s Jobs Bill: Investing in Affordable Housing
Governor Mark Dayton has proposed a Jobs Bill which would invest $1.5 billion in community infrastructure projects statewide, creating an estimated 22,950 Minnesota jobs and supporting local infrastructure and economies across the state. The Governor’s Jobs Bill includes $124 million in proposed funding for affordable housing in Minnesota.
  • Affordable Housing Across Minnesota – Governor Dayton’s Jobs Bill would invest $110 million to construct and rehabilitate affordable housing across Minnesota.
  • Dorothy Day Center – The Governor’s Jobs Bill would invest $12 million to finish the second phase of the Dorothy Day Connection and Opportunity Center. This facility will provide supportive mental and chemical health services, job training, meals and other resources to people experiencing homelessness.

  • Perspectives Family Center – Governor Dayton’s Jobs Bill would invest $2 million for the expansion and rehabilitation of the Perspectives Family Center to serve homeless and at-risk families. This project includes a new therapeutic early childhood education center, expanded children’s mental health services and earth science programs.
Governor Dayton’s Opportunity Agenda: Building Stable Homes
Housing instability can impact students’ ability to study and show up ready to learn, and can impact health and jobs prospects throughout life. To combat these issues, Governor Dayton’s Opportunity Agenda includes investments to support strong, stable housing, and give all Minnesota families a shot at the best opportunities our state has to offer.
  • Homework Starts with Home – Through the Homework Starts with Home program, Governor Dayton’s budget includes $8 million to provide rental assistance to Minnesota families with children to ensure that students have stable housing throughout the school year. This funding would help as many as 850 families struggling with homelessness to access better opportunities tailored to meet their specific needs.
  • Opening the Door to the American Dream – Americans have historically accumulated wealth and saved money for the future through homeownership. Currently, 77 percent of white households own their homes, while only 39 percent of households of color own their homes in Minnesota. This disparity is often aggravated by the unique barriers to homeownership facing Minnesotans of color. Governor Dayton’s Opportunity Agenda would invest $2 million to level the playing field for eligible first-time homebuyers with financial counseling and assistance with down payments and closing costs.
  • A Second Chance for Quality, Affordable Housing – Minnesotans with a past criminal conviction can struggle to find work and housing decades later. In 2014, Governor Dayton signed legislation prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about most criminal convictions. This year, the Governor is proposing a $300,000 investment to extend the “Ban the Box” concept into rental housing. Under Governor Dayton’s proposal, landlords would have to proactively inform prospective applicants that a criminal background check would be conducted, how that information would be used, and what offenses would be disqualifying.
  • Reducing Homelessness for College Students – To do homework, get a good night’s sleep, and be ready to succeed in the classroom, every college student needs a safe, stable home. But hundreds of Minnesota college students experience housing instability each year. That is why the Governor’s budget invests $250,000 to ensure more Minnesota college students have a safe and stable place to live. 
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