- Created: Tuesday, 04 September 2018 14:19
- Written by Carolyn Szczepanski
Less than one year ago, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced a statewide Task Force on Housing charged with reviewing existing housing strategies, identifying gaps in the system and making recommendations on policies, programs and practices to improve housing stability and affordability for all Minnesotans. With representation from MHP and members from across the state, the Task Force dove into the issues, inspired by the urgency of the seven-month timeline — and the thousands of Minnesota families who are challenged every day by a lack of affordable housing.
After convening in-depth working groups, hosting regional forums and community engagement sessions, soliciting big ideas for bold solutions and elevating the importance of housing access and affordability for the public and policymakers alike — the task force released its final report with 30 recommendations last month. Among the top priorities: "Create dedicated, permanent funding sources for affordable homes, in addition to current funding sources."
With more than 550,000 cost-burdened households and a dramatic gap between the current and needed production of housing — especially for those at the lowest incomes — MHP believes we need game-changing investments in affordable housing to unlock Minnesota's prosperity. That's why, in addition to vital resources like bonding, we've been working to identify and champion innovative, sustainable and dedicated funding sources at the state level, including a state housing tax credit and incentives for local housing trust funds. As affirmed in the report and recommendations, we agree that "committing to homes as a priority" must be a top goal for the state and that new and dedicated funding is an essential component of that commitment.
"The Task Force galvanized and amplified critical conversations connecting the importance of housing to the vitality of our state," said MHP's Executive Director, Anne Mavity. "The dedicated members of this group and hundreds of advocates from all backgrounds — business leaders to housing developers to directly impacted community members — contributed to a report that identifies a variety of solutions that will help us achieve our collective vision of strong, vibrant communities with homes for all Minnesotans."
The Task Force on Housing highlighted what we've seen in our advocacy: Housing is a bipartisan issue. It's also a business issue. An education issue. A health issue. Now is the time to get to work, with a sense of urgency and collaboration, to take action. We're grateful to the work of the many participants in the task force efforts and look forward to leading a robust and multi-sector effort to achieve new, sustainable funding sources for affordable housing moving forward. To do that, we need your voice, too. Sign up for MHP updates here to stay engaged as we launch this campaign in coming weeks!