Workforce housing has been a key policy priority for MHP, along with strong support for affordable housing through Homes for All. However, the MN House of Representatives' budget proposal for housing, released last week, funds workforce housing at the direct expense of programs that serve lower-income Minnesotans. The House proposal cuts key housing and homelessness programs, potentially pits Greater Minnesota against the Metro, and is likely to be inefficient and poorly targeted. The Senate proposal for housing will be released tomorrow (Wednesday). Neither chamber has released proposals for services dollars for homeless Minnesotans yet.
Rep. Keith EllisonLast week, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison re-introduced the Common Sense Housing Investment Act for 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bold proposal would convert the mortgage interest deduction (MID), long considered untouchable yet highly regressive, to a non-refundable tax credit. The federal tax dollars saved would be directed to programs for lowest-income renters.
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. FHFA Director Mel Watt testifying before CongressThe 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.
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.