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Rep. Howard Statement on the Omission of Housing Assistance Legislation from the COVID-19 Response Bill

Thursday, March 26, 2020

St. Paul, MN– Today, the Minnesota Legislature approved bipartisan legislation to address the health and economic security of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislation included in the bill needed the approval of the DFL and GOP parties in both chambers. Unfortunately, despite agreement on the need for $100 million in rental assistance from both the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association and Homes for All coalition, no rental assistance was included in the bill.   

State Representative Michael Howard (DFL – Richfield), vice chair of the House Housing Finance and Policy Division, released the following statement: 

“We cannot in good conscience urge the vast majority of Minnesotans to stay home during this pandemic if we are not going to ensure they can afford the roof over their heads. The governor's executive order rightly halts evictions but it does not cancel rent. Without providing significant housing assistance for Minnesotans we are putting both renters and landlords in significant financial jeopardy. 

"Rent is due April 1, and it will be due again on May 1. If we want our renters to make their rent, and landlords to make their mortgage, we must work urgently to reach consensus on legislation so that all Minnesotans can afford to stay home and stay safe.”  

The language of the bill, HF 4531, can be found here. Additional information on the Minnesota House’s efforts to address COVID-19 can be found here