MHP Connect

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

Metropolitan Council Thrive 2040 plan prioritizes housing policy updates

On January 27, Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh delivered the annual State of the Region address for the Council, entitled An Equitable Future for our Region. As housing a

ThriveMSPLogo

dvocates, we are excited that the Council has proposed updating its Housing Policy Plan for the first time in nearly 30 years, as outlined in its Thrive 2040 plan. A preliminary draft of the Thrive 2040 plan is now published for public review.

In her comments, Haigh listed housing as a top priority for the year, excerpted below:

"With the help of our partners, we must create real choices in housing for all our residents, across age, race and ethnicity, economic means, and ability.

   

Minnesota Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness prioritizes increased public investment

The Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness published the 56-page Heading Home: Minnesota Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness on 12/19/13, citing the need for increased investment in affordable housing and rental assistance. The plan contains 12 strategies to prevent and end homelessness in Minnesota.Homelessness Plan 2013-15

The first strategy identified in the plan is to pursue increased investments in affordable housing and rental assistance. This foundational strategy is echoed by the Homes For All coalition which requested $100 million in bonding for affordable housing during the upcoming session.

The report details how the need for affordable housing is great, citing that more than 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless on any given night, and another 248,000 pay more than half their income on housing. Minnesotans experiencing homelessness state that the number one reason they are homeless is that they cannot afford housing (Wilder interview data). Whereas the private market is guided by the laws of supply and demand, and will charge as much as it can for rent, Minnesotans need a safety net of affordable housing to provide for those whom the market doesn't serve.

   

December 2013 Minnesota Housing Board

The pre-holidays December board meeting for Minnesota Housing covered changes in single family loans for better a fit with emerging markets, and extension of a program to rehab rental housing in Greater Minnesota. A report on the Agency's annual risk assessment was also made, and Commissioner Tingerthal announced the state's new Plan to End Homelessness.

   

Community organizing and political leadership keep leading HUD office in MN

ellisonhudseal teal 1Advocates have a major victory to celebrate with an announcement in late November that the Minneapolis Multifamily HUD office, slated for closure, would stay open for business. The decision to retain the Minneapolis office reflects successful advocacy mounted over a six month period by nonprofit and for-profit housing developers, lenders, Minnesota Housing, and key elected officials. Rep. Keith Ellison was at the center of this effort to keep jobs in his district and to retain a leading upper Midwestern partner in lending for affordable rental housing.

   

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Announcements on the Blog

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Events

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

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

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

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