fbpx

     

 

 

Get Updates!

Sign up to get the latest news, action alerts and opportunities from MHP!

Follow MHP Connect for a variety of coverage on housing and community development news in Minnesota and across the nation.

MHP Executive Director Anne Mavity has been named to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Board of Directors. 

“NLIHC is doing impactful and critically needed policy advocacy and research, and I’m honored to join the NLIHC Board,” Mavity said. “This is a critical time of opportunity, when the spotlight is on housing and how essential it is that everyone has a home to maintain health, educate their children, keep our elders safe. NLIHC is well-positioned to offer concrete solutions to address these long-standing challenges in ensuring everyone has a home.”

Here's NLIHC's full press release on the new board member appointments:

NLIHC Announces Four New Board Members: Staci Berger, Colleen Echohawk, Anne Mavity and Sharon Vogel

WASHINGTON, DC– The National Low Income Coalition (NLIHC) announces the appointment of four new members to the NLIHC Board of Directors: Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey President and CEO Staci Berger; Chief Seattle Club Executive Director Colleen Echohawk; Minnesota Housing Partnership Executive Director Anne Mavity; and Cheyenne River Housing Authority Executive Director Sharon Vogel.

Staci Berger has served as president and CEO of Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, an NLIHC state partner, since 2013Ms. Berger directs this statewide association of over 270 community-based organizations and individuals, created in 1989 to enhance the efforts of these groups to create affordable housing and revitalize their communities, and to improve the climate for community development in New Jersey. “The last year has presented incredible challenges for the community development sector and the people and communities we serve,” said Ms. Berger. “NLIHC has been an invaluable partner and ally in promoting policies that keep the most vulnerable individuals healthy and safe in a home they can afford all across the nation. NLIHC has been an incomparable resource and incredible partner in our efforts to make NJ a place everyone can afford to call home. It is an honor and privilege to serve on the NLIHC Board of Directors.”

Colleen Echohawk is citizen of the Pawnee Nation and is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, a Native-led organization in Seattle providing services and housing to Indigenous people experiencing homeless. She is also the founder of the National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness. Recognizing a lack of equity in housing design and development, and the profound impact it has on the well-being of people of color, Ms. Echohawk began advocating for equitable low-income housing development and indigenous-led design. “I’m honored to be serving as a board member for NLIHC,” said Ms. Echohawk. “I believe my experience serving the Indigenous community will be of great importance as we advocate for affordable, equitable housing for all communities.”  

Anne Mavity joined the Minnesota Housing Partnership, an NLIHC state partner, as its executive director in 2017. Ms. Mavity has over thirty years of experience in advancing and creating affordable housing, capacity building and community development. She has worked on a congressional subcommittee on housing, provided technical assistance and underwriting at CSH creating permanent supportive housing policies and projects, and led affordable housing development and organizing for Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. “NLIHC is doing impactful and critically needed policy advocacy and research, and I’m honored to join the NLIHC Board,” said Ms. Mavity. “This is a critical time of opportunity, when the spotlight is on housing and how essential it is that everyone has a home to maintain health, educate their children, keep our elders safe. NLIHC is well-positioned to offer concrete solutions to address these long-standing challenges in ensuring everyone has a home.”

Sharon Vogel is the executive director of the Cheyenne River Housing Authority on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.  Home to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Reservation is located in north-central South Dakota. Mrs. Vogel has dedicated her professional career to working with and for tribal members, many of whom were and continue to be disenfranchised families. Beginning her career in tribal government services, she has worked for the last nineteen years in the Indian Housing field. Mrs. Vogel is a recognized leader in Indian Housing on the regional and national levels. “I am honored to serve on the NLIHC Board of Directors,” said Ms. Vogel. “I am looking forward to working with this amazing group of individuals who are committed to providing safe and affordable housing opportunities for families throughout this country. I have followed the work of the NLIHC for the past ten years and have been so impressed with their inclusive leadership. I appreciate their commitment to diversity and collaborative efforts to advance shared goals of our membership.”

“I am so pleased to welcome Staci, Colleen, Ann, and Sharon to the NLIHC Board,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Each brings invaluable perspectives and years of leadership and experience advocating for affordable and decent homes for those with the lowest incomes. Their exceptional leadership builds on the outstanding expertise of those already serving on the NLIHC Board. I look forward to working with them and the rest of NLIHC’s Board leaders in continuing to advance socially just policies to ensure decent, safe, accessible, and affordable homes for those with the greatest needs.”

Omnibus, omnibus! With the third deadline looming April 9 for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills, many omnibus bills have passed out of committees this week, with more to come. An omnibus bill packages several smaller bills into one bill; it can include appropriations and policy items. Each committee will need to stay within the budget target that has been set by leadership. MHP session priorities remain in play, including funding for NOAH properties, 4d property tax enhancements, source of income protections, Local Housing Trust Fund state match, and more. See MHP’s list of policy priorities here.

  • House Housing Finance and Policy committee approved its bill on party lines on April 7, with appropriations increases totaling $30 million. An overview from Session Daily is here; a spreadsheet showing bill impacts is here. Some highlights include:
    • $6.5 million for the preservation and rehabilitation of inexpensive multiunit rental housing that does not receive federal subsidies (NOAH properties);
    • $3 million in grants for local housing trust funds, out of which local governments award grants for housing development, rental assistance and more;
    • Policy creating an opportunity to purchase for residents of manufactured home parks;
    • Eviction reform policy, including changes to the eviction expungement process.
    • Ensuring Tribes are eligible recipients of capacity building grants.
  • Senate Housing Finance and Policy has revealed its bill with plans for a vote on April 8. A spreadsheet for SF969 is here, and summary is here. Highlights include:
    • $3.2 million for the workforce homeownership program;
    • $1.5 million for manufactured home park infrastructure grants;
    • ($2.0 million) reduction to the Challenge program;
    • Inclusion of an evictions moratorium phaseout.
  • House Taxes: The House Taxes Committee will likely see a vote on Thursday April 8. An overview of the bill’s highlights is here. Housing specific provisions include:
    • appropriates $15 million annually from the proceeds of the mortgage registry and deed taxes to the commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for transfer into the workforce and affordable homeownership development account;
    • a new homelessness prevention fund would provide $25 million in annual aid to counties beginning in fiscal year 2023;
    • requires the commissioner of revenue, in consultation with Minnesota Housing, to produce a report on class 4d property and on local 4d affordable housing programs, including an analysis of the impact of reducing the classification rate of the first-tier of 4d property to 0.25 percent, by January 15, 2022;
    • Provides special tax increment financing authority to the cities of Fridley, Minnetonka, Richfield, and St Louis Park for affordable housing purposes; for Minnetonka, Richfield, and St Louis Park authority includes the transfer of some portion of increment generated from districts to each city’s affordable housing trust fund;
    • Increases to the renter’s credit, including increase to the maximum credit and increasing the income cap to $64,300 (by $3,000).
  • House Judiciary, Finance and Civil law: The House Judiciary Committee approved its omnibus bill which included source of income protections, protecting renters from discrimination based on paying the rent with rental assistance.

At Minnesota Housing Partnership’s Investors Council virtual breakfast meeting on March 25, 2021, Anne Mavity, Executive Director of MHP, welcomed a dynamic presentation and panel to address the topic of “Prosperity for All: The Role of Housing.” Specifically, Mavity asked ”How do we move beyond business as usual towards more bold and equitable outcomes, to create a more equitable housing market?”

We are in a moment of enormous challenges, but also in a moment of enormous opportunity,” she said.

Each speaker addressed the opportunity and the question posed by Mavity. Introductory remarks were provided by Minnesota Housing Commissioner, Jennifer Ho. A keynote address was provided by Gary Cunningham, President & CEO of Prosperity Now and he was then joined by panelists Vihar Sheth, Senior Vice President & Director of Business Development – Equity & Affordable Housing for U.S. Bank and Nawal Noor, Founder & CEO of Noor Companies.

Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho started by sharing the bold and equitable solutions generated by State of Minnesota and the Federal Government. The Agency has worked on the Qualified Allocation Plan by shifting points and updating language, and they have seen it play out by giving more points to applications submitted by black, indigenous, and people of color, as well as women. Minnesota Housing has brought in equity experts for their Leadership team to help them think about how they do the work and ask important questions about equity as they design new stimulus programs.

The Agency also has policy bills on the table around Tenants Rights, which Commissioner Ho described as, “kind of a new space for the Agency,” with the firm belief that there should not be discrimination based on source of income and that there should be a slightly longer process for evictions. Moreover, there should be time given to people to access the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Finally, at the federal level, Commissioner Ho is optimistic about the position of Senator Tina Smith as the Chair of a key Senate Banking Subcommittee that oversees important aspects of the nation’s housing, transportation and community development policies.

Next, Mavity introduced keynote speaker, Gary Cunningham, President & CEO of Prosperity Now, located in Washington, D.C. He provided the audience with grounding in the lens of racial homeownership disparities and cost-burden disparity statistics, as well as the importance of homeownership in an asset building framework. He also proposed some bold solutions and policy recommendations to expand affordable housing:

  • Reinstate the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule
  • Expand Housing Choice Vouchers to Fully Meet the Need
  • Expand and Leverage Existing Public Resources to Further Encourage the Development of Affordable Housing
  • Reform Existing Upside-down Housing Tax Incentives

Cunningham also highlighted that Prosperity Now has specific federal policy proposals that will shift the current housing policy that would make housing a right, not just a privilege. Prosperity Now’s Pathway to Housing for All includes a pathway from supporting renters to supporting homeownership.

  • Phase 1: Low-Income Renters’ Credit
  • Phase 2: Downpayment-Builder Matched Savings Program
  • Phase 3: First-Timer Homeowners’ Credit
  • Phase 4: Homeowners Post-Purchase Tax Credit

Next, in response to Cunningham’s remarks, Vihar Sheth, Senior Vice President & Director of Business Development – Equity & Affordable Housing at U.S. Bank, provided an update on his work and the Bank’s bold solutions. Specifically, his team has been trying to re-orient business through an anti-racist lens based on a racial equity agenda they have recently developed.

Nawal Noor, Founder & CEO of Noor Companies, then delivered robust commentary on her background in the corporate arena and the affordable housing space, as well as her bold equity solutions.

Noor said that from her corporate background she learned the importance of action versus solely talking about the challenges of housing disparities.

It takes partnerships and transparency,” Noor said.

She applauded Minnesota Housing for their work in revising their Qualified Allocation Plan. Noor also suggested that construction innovation needs to take place in terms of “partnerships between architects, funders, and builders in order to eliminate inefficiencies in the design, material selection, training, constructability of the project, and workforce development.”

“Those partnerships are so crucial to be able to change the trajectory of where we are today.”

The panel ended with a question distilled by Mavity from comments and questions posed by the Zoom audience of more 100 people.

What are the tools, legislation, and structural changes that would be most impactful in moving the ball forward?” one audience member asked.

Vihar Sheth responded that the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program has become the “core element” of trying to solve all of our issues. He continued by saying that instead of throwing more resources at the program, we need to design modern programs to address old and new issues. Cunningham answered the question by stating that we need to re-imagine and re-design the Community Reinvestment Act and to think bigger and bolder about the solutions.

Cunningham closed by saying that, “Solutions that we had in the past won’t address the problems that we have today.”

To be part of these dynamic conversations, become a contributor or renew your contribution in the MHP Investors Council today!

Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) has released its third edition of State of the State’s Housing. The 80-page report shows that more than a quarter of Minnesota families pay more than they can afford for housing — and that number is growing. In addition to spotlighting key trends across Minnesota’s 87 counties, like the gap between the costs of housing and the salaries of in-demand jobs, the report also ranks counties on benchmarks like renter cost burden and showcases issues like aging housing stock with dynamic maps. The report also shares stories from communities collaborating to tackle local needs.

Key findings include:

  • More affordable housing needed. In Minnesota, there is critical need for housing particularly for extremely low-income renters, or renter households that earn at or under 30% of area median income (AMI). There are approximately 169,585 renter households in the state fall into this category; yet, there are only 64,238 affordable and available units at this income level across the state. This leaves a gap of 105,347 units needed for extremely low-income renters.
  • Homeownership disparities persist. Racial disparities in Minnesota are among the worst in the nation. While 77 percent of all white households own their home, 60 percent of Asian, 50 percent of Hispanic, 49 percent of Native American, and just 25 percent of Black households own their homes.
  • Housing costs are increasing. Housing costs continue to increase disproportionately to income. Between 2000 and 2019, the median renter income in Minnesota decreased by 1 percent, yet the median gross rent for the state increased by 14 percent.
  • Cost burden disparities magnified. The cost-burden disparity for renters and homeowners of color is stark. In Minnesota, 44 percent of white renters are cost burdened; in contrast, 58 percent of Black renters — 82,364 renter households — pay more than they can afford on housing.
  • Wages are not keeping up with housing costs. Of the top five in-demand jobs in the state, three do not earn enough for quality housing to be affordable. Relatively low-earning positions central to the healthcare industry, particularly home health and personal care aides and nursing assistants, are expected to see some of the largest increases in demand over the next ten years.

“MHP’s State of the State’s Housing Report 2021 shows that Minnesota has work to do to ensure access to affordable housing for all our neighbors. We have seen how essential housing is to maintaining health, to supporting education for our children, to driving economic growth for our businesses, yet we continue to fall behind in addressing the significant and increasing gaps between housing costs and incomes. This impacts every sector, impacts every family, impacts every region across our state,” said Anne Mavity, Executive Director of Minnesota Housing Partnership. “Our report also highlights how these gaps in housing affordability are particularly and inequitably impacting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), Minnesotans at the lowest incomes.”

The full report can be accessed at www.mhponline.org/research