05/26 – 2023 Session Review: Taxes

Just as in the Housing Finance and HHS committees, the tax committees made significant changes that will support families across the housing continuum and help affordable housing providers keep rents affordable. In alignment with the Homes for All agenda, these victories include the following:

  • 4d tax rate— a change we’ve spent years advocating for!
    • This change also interacts well with the SHARE funding
  • County aid for housing
  • Renters’ credit change
  • Child tax credit change

 

05/26 – 2023 Session Review: Health & Human Services

To continue celebrating the major legislative accomplishments that will benefit Minnesotans and their housing circumstances, we are focusing today’s post on the Health and Human Services omnibus budget, which consists of the House Health and Children and Families Committees and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The Health and Human Services budget invested game-changing, life-changing and historic funding in services for people experiencing homelessness and those who are experiencing housing instability! This will work to truly save lives across the state and provide additional, continuing support for these programs. In combination with the historic Minnesota Housing budget, the investments made this session will ensure Minnesotans experiencing homelessness have the support and services they need while also making it easier, safer, more stable, and more accessible to find and retain affordable housing. The work of Homes for All advocates helped several issues that were on the H4A agenda pass this session:

Financial Changes:

  • Capital Requests for Production and Rehabilitation Funding
    • $100 million for shelter capital
    • Increased funding for the Homeless Youth Act (HYA)
    • Increased funding for Emergency Services Program (ESP)
    • Increased funding for Safe Harbor

Policy Changes:

  • Housing Support Income Modifications in Community Settings
    • Caps the amount someone with unearned income pays for their housing at 30% starting in October 2024. Unearned income includes income from Supplemental Security Income; Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance; veterans benefits; and child support payments.
    • Tribal per capita payments no longer counted as income starting in January 2024; lived-experience stipends no longer counted as income starting in August 2023.

 

05/25 – 2023 Session Review: Housing Finance

The Homes for All coalition is so proud, happy, and energized by the work done at the capitol this session to ensure Minnesotans have better access to safe, affordable housing.  These achievements wouldn’t have been possible without your dedicated advocacy efforts, so thank you! We are also grateful to housing champions in the Minnesota House and Senate for showing commitment to these issues. 

To recognize and celebrate this work, we are doing a blog series to highlight important Homes for All legislative victories in various committees. Today, we are spotlighting housing finance. The past two weeks brought historic investments in housing by the Minnesota Legislature! The legislation passed will truly make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans across the housing continuum. Many of the successes were on Homes for All’s coalition-led items, including the following:

Financial Changes:

  • Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)
    • $90 million for acquisition and rehabilitation of NOAH
  • Capital Requests for Production and Rehabilitation Funding
    • $200 million for housing infrastructure in cash
    • $40 million in homeownership investment grants to develop and rehabilitate affordable homeownership opportunities
    • $4.8 million for local housing trust fund matching
    • $10 million each for the manufactured home cooperative pool purchase and for lending grants
    • Additional $15 million for the manufactured home park infrastructure grants
    • Additional $20 million in one-time funding for workforce homeownership
  • Bring It Home Rental Assistance
    • $46 million per biennium for Bring It Home General Fund
      • PLUS a sales tax portion will go towards the fund
  • Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP) for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA)
    • Additional $45 million for Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP) in fiscal year (FY) 2024-2025
  • Down Payment Assistance
    • $100 million for the first-generation down payment assistance program run through the mid-Minnesota CDC

Additional Funding:

  • $4 million for lead safe homes
  • Additional $95 million in 2024-2025 for the challenge program
  •  $50 million for SHARE
  • Additional $2 million in base funding for Bridges and for Homework Starts with Home

 

01/25 – Action Needed: Budget Surplus

With a budget surplus of $17.6 billion, this legislative session gives us an incredible, historic opportunity to improve and transform housing in Minnesota by investing in the full continuum to prevent and end homelessness, make rents more affordable, build more safe, dignified, accessible homes, and create opportunities to make home ownership a reality. Please call Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kari Dziedzic (651-296-7809) and Speaker of the House Rep. Melissa Hortman (651-296-4280) and encourage them to invest big in housing this year. There are many important housing issues on the Homes for All 2023 legislative agenda, and we encourage you to emphasize the ones that really matter to you during your calls. 

If you have time for more phone calls, please also call the following leaders: 

  • House Majority Leader Rep. Jamie Long (651-296-5375)
  • House Minority Leader Rep. Lisa Demuth (651-296-4373)
  • Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mark Johnson (651-296-5782)

Thank you for your advocacy!

2/16 – Homes for All is excited to see the House DFL Housing Plan

 Today, the Minnesota House DFL released their plan to reduce housing costs during the 2022 session. Homes for All is incredibly excited to see unprecedented and monumental $1.8 billion investments in housing across the continuum. These $1.8 billion investments will help us meet the critical and growing needs and ensure that all Minnesotans are safely and stably housed. 

We want to thank the House DFL for recognizing the need for investments across the continuum. We have highlighted some of the pieces of the proposal below.

Build More Homes that Minnesotans Can Afford – The 2020 Census found that the Twin Cities has the worst housing shortage in the nation, and our housing shortage exists across the state. To address this, the House DFL proposes $600 million to build more housing for rental and homeownership opportunities, especially for Minnesotans with lowest incomes. This includes essential investments and expansions of Housing Infrastructure Bonds, the Challenge Program, and the Workforce Homeownership Program.

Make Housing More Affordable for Renters and Create More Homeowners – Many Minnesotans with low incomes struggle to pay for housing and often must choose between paying their housing costs or food and healthcare costs The House DFL includes $400 million to expand housing vouchers and rental assistance so no Minnesotans pay over 30% of their budget on housing, and $100 million to provide downpayment assistance to help first-time homebuyers purchase their home.

Save the Affordable Homes we Already Have – Much of our low-income housing across the state is in disrepair, forcing Minnesotans to live in unsafe and unstable housing like housing with lead paint, asbestos, a broken or unsafe furnace, or broken windows or roofs.The House DFL includes $250 million to preserve the low-income housing we already have and to invest in rehabilitation for our Public Housing, keeping our affordable housing affordable and ensuring it is habitable and safe.

Keep Unsheltered Minnesota Safe and Provide Pathways Out of Homelessness – About 20,000 Minnesotans experience homelessness each night, and the number of homelessness and unhoused Minnesotans continues to rise across the state. The House DFL includes $150 million in services for people experiencing homelessness and unsheltered Minneostans, including funding to build additional homeless shelters and opportunities to move people out of homelessness.

Emergency Rental and Landlord Assistance – With the closing of RentHelpMN on January 28, Minnesota is once again facing an eviction crisis. In order to prevent this eviction crisis, the House DFL invests an additional $300 million in Emergency Rental Assistance through June 1, 2022. This is a critical need, and Homes for All will work with both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature to make this happen as quickly as possible.

The highlighted investments will help bring safe, affordable,and accessible housing to thousands of Minnesotan households.  We encourage legislators from all caucuses and areas of the state to work with the Homes for All Coalition to bring the reality of Home to our Minnesota neighbors.  For more information about the Homes for All Policy agenda, please reach out to Annie Shapiro, Michael Dahl, or Zack Eichten

Contact:

Annie Shapiro: annieshapiro@minncap.org

Michael Dahl: michaeld@homelinemn.org

Zack Eichten: zack@mnhomelesscoalition.org