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

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Minnesota House advances strong housing bill

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Saint Paul, Minnesota – Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives Housing Finance & Policy Committee approved legislation providing investments in affordable housing across the state. With an unprecedented budget surplus, the legislation makes historic investments in ensuring all Minnesotans have a safe, accessible, and affordable place to call home.

“This legislation is a result of collaboration with housing advocates working across the state and across the housing continuum,” said State Representative Alice Hausman (DFL-Falcon Heights), chair of Housing Finance & Policy Committee. “We make historic housing investments and take major strides in addressing some of the state’s most pressing housing issues, reducing the racial home ownership gap, preserving and protecting naturally occurring affordable housing, increasing the housing supply in the state, providing financial resources and overdue protections for renters, and helping those closest to experiencing homelessness.”

“Minnesota faced a housing crisis before the pandemic, and many of those challenges have only worsened,” said Rep. Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield), vice-chair of the Housing Finance & Policy Committee. “With our historic surplus, we have the opportunity to make historic commitments to help tens of thousands of Minnesotans attain stable housing, from renters who are falling behind to Minnesotans seeking to purchase their first home.”  

Notable investments in the legislation include:

  • $230 million new spending this year, $185 million ongoing
  • $100 million this year and $80 million ongoing to preserve Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing
  • $50 million for a pilot project with down payment assistance for first generation homebuyers
  • $2 million to establish the “Luke Shields Act” a lead safe homes grant program
  • Increases to Challenge, Homework Starts with Home, Family Homelessness Prevention Assistance Programs

Policy changes in the legislation include:

  • Tenant protection measures establishing a pre-eviction notice
  • Increase lease fairness by prohibiting corporate property management companies from hiding secret fees in their rental units
  • Prohibit evictions of tenants who have applied for rental assistanc

“As we know, nothing in life goes well without a safe place to live,” said Rep. Hausman. “This generational investment will have impacts far into the future and will assure more Minnesotans are safe and housed, creating a brighter future for everyone.”

Other significant housing investments exist or are to be expected in other areas of legislation being promoted by the House DFL, including $867 million over three years in the Tax Bill, $250 million from the Health & Human Services Committee, and $500 million in Capital Investment.

The Housing committee hearing can be viewed on the House of Representatives’ YouTube channel. Documents for the Housing Finance & Policy can be found on the committee website.