It's been a busy legislative session at the state capitol, and MHP has been actively engaged. We have two main priorities this year: 1) the Homes for All proposal to increase funding for housing and services by $39 million for 2016-17 and 2) expanding workforce housing in Greater Minnesota in ways that are well-targeted, effective, and at a scale more consistent with the need. Read more about where things stand at the Capitol so far this session.
Housing advocates are still rejoicing after the action taken by Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt to direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin sending a portion of their profits to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) to meet the housing and community needs for very low-income families. The announcement was a long-awaited victory for housing advocates across the country who labored for six years to secure NHTF funding after the fund was established. Immediately following Watt’s announcement, however, many legislators, especially Republicans in the House, were adamant in their disapproval of Director Watt’s decision. Several lawmakers vowed to take legislative action to revoke the decision.
Congressman Keith Ellison’s “Housing Funding Strategy is Upside-Down” opinion piece, recently published in the Star Tribune, outlines how the federal government’s investment in housing is “upside-down.”
The record $162 million awarded for housing development last month by Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) will touch thousands of Minnesota households, ensuring that housing is created and preserved for people who need a place to call home. As MHP reported in a recent post, for every dollar awarded there were almost two dollars’ worth of requests that were left unfunded.
Despite the historic nature of the award package, many households in need of housing that they can afford will not benefit from this round of funding. So it seems reasonable to ask: what might the award package have looked like if Congress found a way to fund the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)?
GMHF seeks developers to respond to MN's shortage of workforce housing in new pilot program: Workforce Housing 2.0
Calling educators, health care workers, and law enforcement officers who believe that safe, affordable housing is critical for students, patients, and citizens. Homes for All wants your commentary or testimony! Please contact Leigh Rosenberg.