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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Howard (DFL)

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Rep. Howard to Vote for Legislation Delivering Economic Security, Housing Assistance to Minnesotans

Thursday, May 7, 2020

St. Paul, Minnesota — This afternoon, the Minnesota House of Representatives is expected to pass a package of COVID-19 economic security legislation. The bill, HF 1507, contains provisions for housing assistance, a wage increase for personal care assistants (PCA), funding to expand broadband access, and small business loans. State Representative Michael Howard (DFL - Richfield), vice chair of the Housing Finance and Policy Division, helped craft the bill’s housing assistance provisions. 

Minnesota faced an affordable housing crisis well before the COVID-19 global epidemic, with 500,000 Minnesotans paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing,” said Rep. Howard. “With many in our state facing financial uncertainty as a result of the virus, we can’t ask Minnesotans to stay home without also providing assistance to the homeowners, renters and landlords that are struggling with housing security. There's a large spectrum of advocates and stakeholders in the world of Minnesota housing calling for this assistance, and it's time to listen to them."

The legislation includes $100 million in assistance for Minnesota renters, homeowners, and landlords. In addition to support for rent and mortgages, qualified applicants can receive help paying utility bills and property taxes. The proposal has received broad support, ranging from the Homes for All Coalition, representing 250 Minnesota housing organizations, to the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association, which represents property management companies throughout the state.   

Video of the House floor debate can be found here