MHP Connect

Welcome to MHP Connect! The news blog that covers a variety of housing issues in Minnesota.

First Met Council Housing Policy Plan in 30 years: What's in it?

For the first time in nearly 30 years, housing advocates have the opportunity to help shape the regional housing policy in the Twin Cities. The Metropolitan Council's 100+ page Housing Policy Plan, the first such document since 1985, has the potential to impact housing in the Twin Cities metropolitan area in several key ways. With the Council's unique ability to convene public and private stakeholders around issues impacting the Twin Cities, the plan's impact is far-reaching.

In particular, the plan includes numerous initiatives for expanding housing choice in the metro area. For this, it deserves scrutiny and support, although MHP recommends several amendments. Read more about what's in the plan, and how you can weigh in.

   

Minnesota Housing Board July 2014

The July board meeting of Minnesota Housing Finance Agency addressed multiple programs, including several intended to reduce homeownership disparities between whites and communities of color. In addition, the meeting covered some staffing changes at the Agency.

   

2014 County Profiles: Making the Rent Now More Difficult in 84 of 87 Counties

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MHP's 2014 County Profiles, released this week, reveal that affording rent is now more difficult for renters than it was in the year 2000 in all but three of Minnesota's 87 counties. Rising rents and falling incomes for renters are to blame.

Since 2000, Minnesota's median rents have risen by 6%, while incomes for renters have fallen by 17%. This pattern plays out in most of the state's counties, with median rents rising in all but six counties, and renter incomes falling in most. The gap between rents and incomes has worsened in all but three Western Minnesota counties (Wilkin, Marshall, and Stevens) since 2000.

In addition to information about changes in rents and renter incomes, the 2014 profiles are packed with other information, including data about homelessness, the housing stock, costs to rent and own, and workers' wages. Profiles for Minnesota's 87 counties and the state as a whole, as well as charts, maps, and analysis, are available at: http://mhponline.org/publications/reports-and-research/county-profiles.

   

ThaoMee Xiong, MHP Policy Director, Recognized for Public Policy Achievement

thaomee headshot croppedThaoMee Xiong, MHP's Policy Director, was recognized last week for her standout achievements this past legislative session at the fifth annual Politics in Minnesota/Capitol Report Leaders in Public Policy Awards celebration.

Xiong served as co-chair of the policy committee of the Homes for All alliance, which led the successful effort to secure $100 million in bonds for housing at the Minnesota Legislature in 2014.

As part of the awards event, she was recognized for her service in the category of Public Policy Achievement (Housing).

   

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Announcements on the Blog

The Met Council is seeking comments on its Housing Policy Plan through September 26, 2014.

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Events

2040 Transportation Policy Plan Draft Workshop, MET Council, 8/26-9/25, multiple locations

Public Hearing on Housing Policy Plan, MET Council, 9/15, St. Paul

Preservation through Energy Efficiency conference, National Housing and Rehabilitation Association, 9/15, Minneapolis.

Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Annual Conference, Sep. 15-16, Rochester.

Public Hearing on Transportation Policy Plan, MET Council, 9/17, St. Paul

A Community Development Debate, Emerging Leaders in Community Development, 9/24, St. Paul.

Distinguish Your Work: Outreach or Community Engagement?, Building the Field of Community Engagement, 9/24, St. Paul

Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers 25th Anniversary, 10/8, Minneapolis.

Healthy & Housed: 5K Race for the Key, 10/11, Minneapolis

Janet Viveiros and Amy Clark of NHC for a free webinar Wednesday, July 23, 2 pm ET

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MHP Connect was formerly known as The Bulletin. Access back issues of The Bulletin here.