Over 550,000 households in Minnesota pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs, leaving families unable to afford basic costs like food and health care. And, we face a critical need for housing particularly for extremely low-income renters, those at or below 30% of the area median income, as there’s a shortage of over 105,000 affordable units for these renters across the state.And this represents just a small snapshot of the housing needs facing our state.
Last week, Governor Tim Walz released his 2022 Supplemental Budget request, found here. At Homes For All, we are very excited to see deep investments across the housing continuum that can meet these critical needs, from additional support for people experiencing homelessness, to expanded emergency housing and rental assistance, to creating more opportunities for homeownership.
As we have said since March 2020, COVID-19 did not create the housing crisis in Minnesota, but it did exacerbate it. And, it highlighted and worsened the disparities and inequities already prominent in our housing system. We need bold, deep investments in housing to meet the deep needs across the state, and we believe Governor Walz’s budget recommendation was a step in the right direction. We have highlighted some of the key provisions below.
Support for shelters and people experiencing homelessness- Governor Walz proposed increases in the Emergency Services Program (ESP), Transitional Housing, and Homeless Youth Act, all which support people experiencing homelessness and provide additional funding to increase our shelter capacity and provide temporary housing.
Rental assistance and support for renters- Included in the Governor’s budget is large increases in funding for rental assistance through the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP), Homework starts with Home, and Housing Trust Fund. The administration also is proposing policy changes to support renters such having evictions removed from a renter’s record after three years.
Opportunities for homeowners- Minnesota has one of the worst homeownership disparities in the country, with only 25% of Black households owning their own home compared to 77% of white households. The budget recommendation includes additional funding for down payment assistance, affordable homeownership opportunities, and building additional homes.
Preserving and repairing our current housing stock - Having safe and stable housing is a critical, and sometimes forgotten, part of the housing continuum. People deserve housing without health hazards like mold and asbestos and that is not in disrepair. The Governor makes critical investments in preserving and rehabbing our housing stock and reducing energy costs and utilization through weatherization.