Your Action Needed for Upcoming Special Session

Unfortunately, the Legislature adjourned the special session without advancing important housing bills. Right now, lawmakers are negotiating bonding targets for the next special session in July.

We need all housing advocates, including you, to send legislators a message to get the job done NOW and pass bills to support housing for Minnesotans. 

Please click here and send an email to legislators with your support now.

We need our lawmakers to take legislative action before more people lose their homes and that a special session must include passing housing bonds. 

Thank you for your ongoing advocacy.

Homes for All Co-Chairs
Pastor Sue, Paul, Anne, and Rhonda

Special Section Action Alert

Our lawmakers are hard at work right now for the Special Session, and we need to elevate housing until the end. Our goal for this action alert is for each advocate to customize their email explaining why housing is important to you and your community.

If you are able to customize your message, please do so at the very beginning of the email. For ideas and inspiration on what to write, you can watch this video of highlights from our H4A Virtual Rally or read about H4A’s priorities here.

Ready to take action?

Please click here and send an email to legislators with your support now.
 

End of session and what comes next

As you know, Sunday (5/18) was the end of the 2020 legislative session. Together, we accomplished so much, but there is still so much to do. The Homes for All coalition hopes to continue do build off the incredible momentum we have to secure investments to support statewide shelter needs and the development and preservation of affordable housing.

At the start of the 2020 legislative session the coalition was focused on securing $500 million in bonding investments to support the development and preservation of affordable housing and shelters. In mid-March as the COVID-19 crisis became an increasing concern, the coalition pivoted to emergency preparedness and response efforts. Homes for All advocated for increased funding and policy changes to help support outreach staff, shelters and those experiencing homelessness. The Minnesota legislature allocated $32 million to help.

Additionally, the coalition led advocacy efforts in support of a statewide eviction moratorium to help Minnesota households maintain their housing stability during the COVID-19 crisis. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-14 at the end of March halting all evictions during the peacetime emergency. Because many households have either lost jobs, had income or hours reduced the threat of eviction for non-payment of rent has been higher than ever before. In response the coalition has advocated for $100 million in housing assistance for the FHPAP program, which both the Governor and legislature have now expressed support.

Unfortunately, emergency housing assistance funding, legislation extending the eviction moratorium and investments in bonds for housing did not make it across the finish line before the end of the 2020 legislative session. We expect the legislature to reconvene for a special session on June 12th and request that housing be a priority.

Below are talking points on where the Homes for All coalition stands. If your organization has a different perspective, please make that clear when talking with lawmakers. If you have any questions, please reach out to Policy Co-Chairs Libby and Kari — libby.murphy@mhponline.org & kjohnson@mccdmn.org

  • Homes for All continues to advocate for $100 million in housing assistance funding and policy alignment on the eviction moratorium that aligns with the federal CARES Act timeline on halting evictions (end of July + 30 day grace period).
     
  • The coalition continues to advocate for at least $200M in HIB and $100M in GO, and an additional $25M for Shelter Capital. This includes two new uses the coalition supports on its agenda for shelter capital needs and deeper affordability. The coalition remains neutral on other new uses.
     
  • Deeper affordability – This would be the only state resource that targets households at or below 50% AMI – this is where there is the greatest gap in units available and affordable. Often families and individuals are forced into a traumatic experience of homelessness in order to get into housing (with supportive services, because that is all that is available) or they have to double up with friends or family. 
    • Currently, the multifamily market is producing roughly 8,400 units for households at or above 50% AMI whereas only 400 units for households at or below 50% AMI. To meet the demand for households at or below 50% AMI, we need to create nearly 4,500 new units/year. The need is especially acute for households at or below 30% AMI. There is a supply gap of nearly 65,100. There are a supply and available gap of nearly 113,000 units.
       
  • $25 million to Shelter Capital – 80 out of 87 counties in Minnesota don’t have enough beds to meet the need. In the past 3 years the unsheltered homeless populations have grown 62% and shelters are at capacity. The coalition has never advocated for the development of shelter, preferring to put limited resources towards permanent housing, but the needs are too great. We have seen this highlighted with COVID-19 and too many people crammed into too tight of spaces. Shelters are doing the best they can.

Again, please reach out with any clarifying questions: libby.murphy@mhponline.org  and kjohnson@mccdmn.org

 

Advocates, we need you! Take action TODAY

Time is running out on this legislative session, so it’s more important than ever for us to urge our lawmakers to prioritize bonds for housing! Watch the videos below from Homes for All Co-Chair Allison Streich and Policy Co-Chair Kari Johnson to learn more about why investing in bonds for housing is so important for Minnesota’s future. Then take action by following this link to let your legislators know that Minnesota needs bonding to support our housing infrastructure. Calling or emailing takes just a minute but makes a big impact, so take action today!

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Before our virtual rally, TAKE ACTION!

The Homes for All virtual rally is only two days away! And as we gear up to make sure housing is a legislative priority, we need your advocacy more than ever.  Right now Minnesota’s lawmakers have the opportunity to make a huge impact on our housing crisis by passing a bonding bill that supports construction of affordable housing, the repair and rehabilitation of existing housing, and more. Please reach out to your lawmakers by clicking on this link and let them know:

  • Significant support for Housing Infrastructure Bonds and GO bonds for Public Housing in the bonding bill is a smart investment in helping to stimulate Minnesota’s economy. There are shovel ready projects in both Greater Minnesota and in the Metro.

  • Bonding support for Minnesota’s affordable housing market has the potential to create 8,000 jobs and create or preserve up to 3,600 long-term affordable homes (if we invest $400 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds) and can create 1,000 jobs and preserve up to 18,000 homes with $100 million in GO Bonds. 

  • Every $1 of state of bonding investments leverages $3 in private investment and can preserve $4 in federal subsidy.

  • The housing shortage in the Twin Cities alone is limiting job growth and projections could reduce Gross Regional Product by $215 million annually, impacting the state’s overall budget as well.

  • The COVID-19 crisis has only further highlighted Minnesota’s affordable housing crisis with our shelters at capacity and thousands of households barely able to make ends meet. While Homes for All has advocated for emergency response dollars, it is clear we need to invest in more housing, particularly for our state’s lowest wage earners.

The best time to take action is before the Homes for All rally on Friday, but e-mails are welcome at any time. And don’t forget to register to join the rally on Friday, May 8 from 10am-12pm!