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Governor’s Task Force on Housing Releases Action Plan to Connect All Minnesotans with Good, Affordable Homes

8/21/2018 12:35:57 PM

Governor’s Task Force on Housing offers 30 recommendations to improve access to good, affordable homes across all types, prices, and locations 

More than 554,000 Minnesota households struggle to afford quality housing, a 58 percent increase since 2000

Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, public and private investment totaling more than $5 billion has helped nearly 325,000 low- and moderate-income households
 
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton and members of the Governor’s Task Force on Housing today released its final report, recommending 30 action steps aimed at improving access to quality, affordable housing for Minnesotans and building a more vibrant, inclusive economic future for all Minnesotans. Today’s report follows Governor Dayton’s Executive Order, which convened a nonpartisan group of housing advocates and experts from across Minnesota to develop solutions that will help alleviate Minnesota’s housing challenges and connect more families with great places to live.
 
“More than half-a-million Minnesotans are struggling to afford quality housing,” said Governor Dayton. “The strength of our communities and the success of our people depend on creating solutions to the many housing challenges facing Minnesota families. I am grateful to the members of this Task Force for their collaboration and hard work. The actions they have recommended offer a roadmap for connecting all Minnesotans to the safe, quality, affordable homes we need for a better Minnesota.”
 
A reliable supply of affordable housing has historically been a competitive advantage for Minnesota – ensuring that growing businesses had access to the workers they need. That is why Governor Dayton has worked with the Legislature since 2011 to invest more than $5 billion in affordable housing projects across the state, helping nearly 325,000 low- and moderate-income households find quality, affordable housing.
 
Still, increasing housing costs have priced too many families out of housing near quality employment and educational opportunities. In fact, more than 554,000 Minnesota households now spend at least 30 percent of their incomes on rent or mortgage payments – a 58 percent increase since 2000. According to the Minnesota Housing Partnership, 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, including nearly 3,500 children.
 
These challenges led to the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Housing, and the set of policy recommendations and action steps the Task Force released today to address those challenges.
 
“With appropriate public and private investment in housing, Minnesota can maintain the competitive advantage we’ve had in the past because people can afford to live and work here,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner, Mary Tingerthal.
 
“Minnesota will thrive with a strong foundation of homes that are attainable for all households,” said Chief Executive Officer of Bremer Financial Corporation and Task Force co-chair, Jeanne Crain. “That requires a commitment from the private sector, people from every county around the state, philanthropy, and government at all levels. We all have a role to play.”
 
“Through our work on the Task Force, we talked with hundreds of people who shared their experiences to help us understand how transformative a decent and safe place to call home can be,” said Senior Vice President of Community Impact Greater Twin Cities United Way and Task Force co-chair, Acooa Ellis. “We heard stories of suffering and of hope that shaped these important recommendations.”
 
“We all thrive when we have strong pathways to building wealth through homeownership, which can help break a cycle of poverty and generate resources to invest throughout the community,” said Program Director of Nexus Community Partners and Task Force member, Terri Thao.
 
30 Recommendations for Improving Access to Good, Affordable Housing 
Following extensive discussion and analysis, the Task Force compiled its recommendations in a final report, More Places to Call Home: Investing in Minnesota’s Future. The report outlines how public, private, nonprofit, and neighborhood efforts can help ensure that good quality homes and strong communities remain the cornerstones of a prosperous Minnesota. In total, the report includes 30 recommendations, organized across these six goals that have the power to transform Minnesota’s housing landscape:
 
Commit to Homes as a Priority – Create a broader and stronger public commitment to the urgent need for more affordable homes for more Minnesotans.
 
Preserve the Homes We Have – Keep the homes we already have, especially those that are most affordable.
 
Build More Homes – Build 300,000 new homes by 2030, across all types, prices, and locations to stabilize prices and meet demand.
 
Increase Home Stability – Assist twice as many people at risk of losing their homes because of rent increases, evictions, and heavy cost burdens.
 
Link Homes and Services – Build stronger links between where we live and the services needed to live stable lives.
 
Support and Strengthen Homeownership – Create pathways to sustainable homeownership, with a focus on removing barriers for households of color.
 
Among the 30 recommendations, highlights of the report call for commitment, investment, and Minnesota ingenuity to:
 
Launch a public-private partnership to forecast demand, set goals, and measure progress in building, preserving, and attracting investment in housing throughout Minnesota.
 
Define and crack down on predatory rental practices, including excessive evictions and poor condition of rental units.
 
Create dedicated permanent funding sources for affordable homes in addition to current funding sources.
 
Position Minnesota as a national leader in the advancement of construction innovation and technology.
 
Increase access to homeownership resources for the large number of income-ready households who want to buy their first home.
 
To read the Task Force’s recommendations in full, CLICK HERE.
 
About the Governor’s Task Force on Housing
The Governor’s Task Force on Housing reviewed existing housing strategies that serve Minnesotans well and identify gaps in the system. It also considered new practices to improve housing stability, and ensure that all families, individuals, and communities have the safe and stable housing needed for success.
 
Members of the Task Force:
The Governor’s Task Force on Housing included 15 core members and 13 ex-officio members, representing affordable housing developers, housing industry experts from the nonprofit and private sectors, local government officials, state legislators, business leaders, and housing advocates from across Minnesota. The core members of the Task Force included:
 
• Jeanne Crain, Chief Executive Officer, Bremer Financial Corporation (Co-Chair)
• Acooa Ellis, Director of Social Justice Advocacy, Catholic Charities (Co-Chair)
• Jane Barrett, Executive Director, Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority
• Hukun Abdullahi, Executive Director, Afro American Development Association
• Emily Larson, Mayor, City of Duluth
• Sheila Kiscaden, Commissioner, Olmsted County Board
• Mar Valdecantos, Vice Chair, Northfield Human Rights Commission
• Rick Goodemann, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership
• Diane Sprague, Director, Lifetime Home Project
• Skip Duchesneau, President, D.W. Jones, Inc.
• Richelle Taylor, Realtor, RE/MAX Metro Realty
• Devean George, President, George Group North
• Lael Robertson, Staff Attorney, Housing Justice Center
• Mike Paradise, President, Bigelow Homes
• MayKao Hang, President, Wilder Foundation
 
The ex-officio members of the Task Force included:
 
• Brad Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer, Thrivent Financial, representing the Itasca Project
• Mary Rippe, President, Minnesota Multi Housing Association, representing the Minnesota Multi Housing Association
• Deidre Schmidt, President, CommonBond Communities, representing the Minnesota Housing Partnership
• Terri Thao, Program Director, Nexus Community Partners, representing the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
• Paul Williams, President, Project for Pride in Living, representing the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers
• Neal Loidolt, President, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, representing the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
• Harry Melander, President, Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, representing the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council
• Matt Kramer, Vice President for University and Government Relations, University of Minnesota, representing the University of Minnesota
• Mike Maguire, Mayor, City of Eagan, representing the Urban Land Institute Regional Council of Mayors
• Senator Rich Draheim
• Senator Nick Frentz
• Representative Bob Gunther
• Representative Alice Hausman
 
To read Governor Dayton’s executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing, click here.
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