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Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020

Candidate responses in italics.

Name: Chris Brazelton

City/Town: Delano

Legislative District: SD29

Party: DFL

1: A national poll in May 2020 found that 78% of the public believes our elected leaders are not putting enough attention on people’s need for help to pay for their housing during the coronavirus outbreak. What do you believe is the role of government in ensuring everyone has access to housing?

Henepon county is setting an example by providing more temporary housing with supportive staffing for high risk homeless people. I wish the federal government had done more to coordinate relief from mortgage and rent psyments for those who lost significsnt income.

2: In Minnesota, 80 of 87 counties do not have the capacity to provide sufficient shelter or temporary housing to those who are homeless. Nationally, a study of US cities found that 25 percent of all requests for emergency shelter went unmet. What will you do to end homelessness? 

Support efforts to increase section 8 certificates and construction of or refurbishment to mixed income housing with incentives for developers

3: According to the Census Bureau's July 22 Household Pulse Survey for Minnesota, and Stout’s analysis of this data, there are 132,000 potential eviction filings over the next 4 months in Minnesota. Over 90% of evictions in Minnesota are for non-payment of rent. What will you do to prevent evictions?

See above. I support coordination among mortgage holders, owners, landlords and renters to rotate current mortgage payments to the end of the term and allowing renters relief on rent during the crisis.

4: Being denied where to live because of race, family status, or disability is discrimination. In Minnesota, 53% more whites are homeowners than Black residents, a statistic that dwarfs the national racial homeownership gap of 30%. What meaningful steps will you take to address the root problems of racial disparities in housing?

Enforcement of non-discrimination laws with some teeth on the consequences, in addition to incentivizing, expansion of lending snd home improvement funding for home retention and new ownership. Penalize predatory lending.

5: Our housing crisis includes a lack of safe, stable homes in Minnesota. The 2018 Minnesota Task Force on Housing identified a need for 300,000 new ownership and rental homes over the next decade. While there are 180,000 Minnesota renters with incomes at 30% area median income, only 100 units affordable to these families are produced each year. What steps will you take to support Minnesotans’ access to homes, especially for under resourced households?

Expanded support for successful programs like habitat for humanity, tiny housing villages and other solutions. 

6: More than ever, the public understands the connection between housing and health, as well as education, transportation, and more. What housing-based strategy would you use to improve health outcomes for Minnesotans?

Supportive housing coordinated with care providers who can address physical, mental, emotional and chemical health while not concentrating too many people in a small area. Defer to those with more expertise than I.

7: Over 188,000 Minnesota renter households between the ages of 25 and 44 are income-qualified to purchase a home but continue to rent, including 64,000 households of color. What steps will you take to increase opportunities for renters to purchase homes, condos, or cooperative ownership models, if they choose?

Choice is the key. Survey those in this category to determine if they want to own a home and then to determine the barriers.

8: Including community recommendations when developing policies and programs is a best practice for effective and lasting solutionsHow will you include those impacted by housing needs in developing and implementing housing solutions?

Facilitated discussions with those impacted and other stakeholders.