Earlier this week, Governor Dayton released his proposal for bonding for this upcoming legislative session. Within the full $775 million proposal he put forth is $32 million for housing. This proposal is a major boon for housing, and includes much - but not all - that advocates asked for.
The Governor's proposal includes:
- $25 million to address foreclosures, permanent supportive housing for the homeless, and federally subsidized rental housing. These bonds are Housing Infrastructure bonds, meaning the bonds will be sold by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, with the legislature pledging to repay through appropriating general funds.
- $7 million to rehabilitate aging Public Housing stock which serves extremely low income Minnesotans, including people with disabilities and seniors. These bonds are General Obligation bonds.
Advocates had hoped for $30 million and $10 million respectively for the two types of bonds, for a total package of $40 million.
Legislators disagree about not only the size of the bonding bill, but the type of projects which should be included. Disagreements, and eventually compromise, will follow over the course of the legislative session.
In the meantime, housing advocates are themselves considering the best strategy to ensure a positive bonding outcome for housing this session. We will have to determine whether to rally around the amount the Governor has proposed or to push for more. Stay tuned for updates.
See http://www.mmb.state.mn.us/doc/budget/bud-cap/12/gov-rec.pdf for the full list of proposed items in the Governor's proposal. Housing items are on page 7.