In Minnesota, more than 580,000 families are housing cost-burdened and pay too much for housing. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased financial and housing vulnerability for thousands more, with shelters at capacity and more households barely able to pay their bills. The MN legislature has the opportunity to make a substantial impact on this crisis with significant bonding investments for affordable housing. To build momentum in support of the housing investments Minnesota needs, the Homes for All Coalition hosted a virtual rally on May 8 for a bonding bill this legislative session. Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan attended to kick-off the rally.
We are asking the legislature to invest in affordable housing through the bonding bill because, as you will hear at the rally, across the state communities are struggling to meet their housing needs. Housing resources in the bonding bill are the largest source of housing development support from the state and these investments will fund shovel ready projects that will not only help stabilize people’s lives but also stimulate the economy in both Greater Minnesota and in the metro.
Here is a story from Donna, a resident at Project for Pride and Living:
Donna and her two sons and two-month-old daughter lived in a homeless shelter. After years of bouncing around, Donna was desperate to find stability for her family. Right before Thanksgiving 2017, she signed a lease and moved into a three-bedroom unit at EcoVillage Apartments with her kids. During the time Donna’s family had been moving around, her kids had fallen behind in school. Donna believed the lack of stability in her family’s housing helped cause these problems. In a short time since moving into EcoVillage, Donna said she already noticed improvements in her kids’ behavior. Using Housing Infrastructure Bonds, Project for Pride in Living built 75 units of affordable housing at EcoVillage, a much-needed investment in the Hawthorne neighborhood of north Minneapolis.
State bonding is a vital tool that supports housing of all types across the state. It has the potential to create thousands of jobs, cultivating economic prosperity for our communities, and providing stability for our most vulnerable populations, including seniors, children, and those with disabilities. Even as the coronavirus pandemic has restricted our ability to rally together in person to support affordable housing for all Minnesotans, our housing crisis has become more urgent than ever. On May 8, Homes for All advocates, policymakers, and supporters met together in a virtual rally for a bonding bill to call for the housing investments Minnesota needs. Where we live impacts every aspect of our lives. Housing is the foundation for our health, education, safety, and economic well-being. Minnesota will thrive when everyone has a place to call home. Bonds for affordable housing will strengthen Minnesota’s Housing Continuum in every corner of the state.