In January Star Tribune writer Lori Sturdevant wrote a column identifying several program start-ups of former governor Rudy Perpich that Mark Dayton should emulate. In his day Perpich, who was Dayton’s mentor, launched bold initiatives, although sometimes unusual (e.g., the chopstick factory), for education, economic development, and general state promotion.
In her column Sturdevant didn’t include affordable housing as a Perpich success, but she should have. During his final term as governor, Rudy Perpich initiated a process that brought attention and consensus around a comprehensive approach to a range of housing challenges then facing the state. Because similar challenges exist today governor Dayton should consider Perpich’s approach.
At the January Minnesota Housing board meeting, a change in board leadership and several new senior staff were announced. The board reviewed the agency's 2015 work plan objectives, and bylaws were approved for the formation of a Homeless Management Information Service (HMIS) taskforce.
The December 2014 meeting of the board of Minnesota Housing in the midst of the holiday season was brief. The board discussed staffing updates and the governor’s budget, as well as reports on bond sales in 2014 and the Agency's annual risk profile.
Unemployment is down, housing construction is up, and home prices are rising, according to MHP's new 2x4 Report, released December 30. But these improvements are not spelling gains for all Minnesotans. Homelessness among families and children remains stubbornly high, the report found.
Data tracked in the 2x4 Report indicated that through the first few months of this school year, nearly 4,000 children and youth had been identified as homeless across several larger school districts, the highest number to date since data collection began for this report.
See Me As I Am - Creating Awareness Through Photography, the Youth Leadership Initiative discusses homelessness through photography. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 N. Lexington Parkway, St. Paul. July 24, 4-6 p.m.