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Minnesota House Approves Housing Conference Committee Report

Sunday, May 19, 2024

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Conference Committee Report on House File 5242, which includes the final Housing supplemental budget and policy legislation. The report also contains significant Transportation and Labor provisions. The bill passed on a vote of 70-59 and now heads to the Minnesota Senate. Rep. Michael Howard (DFL - Richfield) said the bill prioritizes investments that will prevent homelessness while building and preserving more affordable homes, building on the historic $1 billion investment in housing last session.

“Whether we are talking about addressing racial disparities, improving outcomes for our students, or strengthening local economies, all roads lead back to home. Still, for many Minnesotans the dream of an affordable home is out of reach,” said Rep. Howard, Chair of the Housing Committee in the Minnesota House. “We are building on our historic work from last session and focusing our efforts where the needs are the greatest so that housing stability becomes a reality – not just a goal – for every Minnesotan.”

Last session, DFLers passed the most significant commitment to addressing Minnesota’s housing crisis in state history, creating housing stability for Minnesota families on the brink of homelessness through new state-based housing vouchers, spurring the production of new homes across the state, and delivering pathways to homeownership for thousands of Minnesotans. The policies and investments in this year’s Housing legislation build on that work. 

Highlights of the investments in the Housing portion of the report include:

  • $50 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds to build more affordable homes to rent and to own.
  • $50 million investment to preserve affordable multi-family housing where renters are at risk of displacement.
  • $8 million is added to our state’s investment for emergency rental assistance as well.

The bill also includes significant policy victories, including a provision to clarify the comprehensive planning process for cities in the metro area. This bill will help bring the protracted litigation over the Minneapolis 2040 Plan to a close so the city can implement its “pro-housing, pro-environment” comprehensive plan. Hundreds of housing units had been on hold. Additionally, all cities in the metro area will have the clarity they need to engage in comprehensive planning in a manner that is both positive for housing development with appropriate tools for environmental review as individual projects move forward.

“I am grateful for the broad partnership of housing advocates, environmental leaders, and our city leaders to provide needed clarity on the comp planning process,” said Rep. Howard. “Our collective efforts should end harmful litigation and unlock the kinds of new housing we desperately need, housing that will improve our communities and our environment.”  

The Housing Bill also includes:

  • Stronger worker protections and developer accountability when public dollars are used to finance affordable housing projects
  • Creation of a task force analyzing the impact of homeowner’s associations on the affordability of homes
  • Reforms to increase the speed and efficiency of the delivery of emergency rental assistance

The Housing language in the bill can be found here. A spreadsheet of the Housing investments can be found here. Video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube channel