Last week, Homes for All MN convened affordable housing residents, government leaders, and housing advocates for a press conference to highlight the devastating impact of federal #TaxReform measures on affordable housing in Minnesota and nationwide. CommonBond Communities, a leading affordable housing developer in the Midwest, hosted the press conference at the Upper Post Veterans Community, 58 affordable homes for formerly homeless veterans and their families. Private activity bonds, a key affordable housing development resource now under threat, made Upper Post possible.
Watch the press conference below, and see more photos here. And, check out media coverage by KARE 11 and Finance & Commerce.
The Senate aims to vote on their tax reform legislation this week. There's still time to speak out against measures that will eliminate thousands of affordable homes in Minnesota. Click here for legislator contact information and a script. And share these infographics on the impact of tax reform in Minnesota.
Jolene Foss, Economic and Community Development consultant for the City of Princeton, spoke on how tax reform threatens the West Birch Estates project, which utilizes private activity bonds. "We cannot overstate the importance of private activity bonds & other resources in providing affordable housing in our communities," Foss said.
Homes for All co-chair and Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Senta Leff (left) and Alliance Housing resident Patrick Shaw (right) shared their perspectives on tax reform. "Over the past ten years, nearly $2 billion in private activity bonds have supported the construction of more than 15,000 affordable homes across Minnesota," Leff said. "Proposed federal tax reform legislation could have a massive impact on affordable housing." Shaw emphasized that an affordable housing crisis is already underway. "Most of the rents in this city are way out of reach," Shaw said. "There's nothing left."
Kirsten Hagen-Kennedy, Mayor of North Branch, pointed to the local impact of the federal legislation under consideration. "With less than a 1% vacancy rate in North Branch, tax reform is personal," Hagen-Kennedy said.
Top picture: Justyn Hardwick, Upper Post resident, speaks on how his home provides a foundation to do good for himself, his family, and his community. "This basis of opportunity allows me to do what I'm supposed to do in this world," Hardwick said.