CALL: What is happening in housing legislation

Shared by our friends at MICAH

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The priorities of lawmakers are becoming more clear. While we do not yet see the amount of rental assistance needed proposed by the House, Senate or Governor, we need all advocates to continue fighting for the resources needed to support housing for Minnesotans. Please contact your lawmakers here. Let them know rental assistance is essential to Minnesota families and should be included at the highest levels possible.

Local Housing Trust Funds  

Lawmakers have released most omnibus supplemental spending and policy bills. Included in the House Housing Finance and Policy bill is an additional $7 million for Local Housing Trust Funds (LHTFs). Please take a moment this week to contact key committee chairs here.

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The House Tax Committee released its omnibus bill (HF3669)

It includes several exciting new funding proposals for housing.  

 compiled by the Minnesota Housing Partnership

  • Allocates $25 million one-time in emergency rental assistance to counties.   
  • Creates the County and Local Affordable Housing Aid Program to distribute $77 million in aid to counties and local governments based on each share of cost-burdened households paying more than 30% of income for housing. Projects must assist families at or below 115% of the greater of state or area median income (AMI) for homeownership and 80% state or AMI for rental properties. Aid can be used for construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, demolition, construction financing, permanent financing, interest rate reduction, refinancing, and gap financing. 
  • Makes community land trust properties eligible for 4d class rate.
  • Ensures taxpayers are eligible for property tax refunds if they reside in community land trust property receiving the 4d class rate.  
  • Creates a single classification for manufactured home park property and lowers the class rate to .75. 
  • Increases the maximum homestead credit refund by $200 for all income ranges. Lowers the property tax threshold and increases the maximum refund from $1,000 to $2,000. 
  • Increases the value thresholds for the homestead market value exclusion to $80.300 and the home value at which the exclusion is fully phased out is increased to $437,100.
  • Allows property owners to qualify for homestead with an individual tax identification number.  
  • Converts the renters’ credit into a refundable income tax credit and simplifies the measure of income used to calculate the credit. As a result, renters would claim the credit as part of their individual income tax return and the refund would be paid out on the same schedule as other income tax refunds instead of August or October.  
  • Increases the income limit for the senior citizens’ property tax deferral program from $60,000 to $96,000 and minimizes the number of years the homeowners must own and occupy the property to 5. 


The Minnesota House of Representatives Housing Finance and Policy Committee

information provided by MN Housing Partnership

The House proposes spending an additional $230 million in general funds this year and adding $185 million to the base budget in the next biennium. This would nearly triple Minnesota Housing Finance Agency’s budget. Along with the additional general fund spending, the bill includes $400 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds.  The House also includes all of Governor Walz’s tenant and source of income protections policy. 

Check out the bill for more details. Funding includes:

  • Challenge Fund: $20 million increase this year and $17.5 million added to the base each year in the next biennium. 
  • Housing Trust Fund – Rental Assistance: $10 million increase this year and $10 million added to the base each year in the next biennium. 
  • Homework Starts with Home: $10 million increase this year and $10 million added to the base each year in the next biennium. 
  • Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program: $14 million increase this year and $10 million added to the base each year in the next biennium. 
  • Local Housing Trust Fund State Match: $7 million this year.
  • Strengthening the Supportive Housing Model (new program): $5 million this year and $5 million added to the base each year in the next biennium. 
  • Flexible Financing for Capital Costs (new): $5 million this year.
  • Community Stabilization (NOAH preservation/new program): $100,000 million this year and $40 million each year in the next biennium. 
  • First Generation Home Buyer Assistance (new program): $50 million this year.
  • Manufactured Home Lending Grants (new program): $5.192 million this year.
  • Lead Safe Homes (new program): $2 million this year.
  • Homeownership Education Program (new program): $1 million this year.
  • Mediation Grant Program (new program): $425,000 this year.
  • Source of Income Protections (new): $383,000 this year.

In addition to the Governor’s tenant and source of income protections, the House includes the following policy changes: 

  • Expands Homework Starts with Home eligibility.
  • Expands Housing Infrastructure Bond eligibility to include deeper affordability without supportive services.
  • Allows senior projects funded with HIBS to include 20% of the units for individuals of any age with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
  • Requires projects funded with HIBs to include 1) the greater of at least one unit or at least 5% of units that are accessible units and include one shower and 2) the greater of at least one unit or at least 5% of units that are sensory accessible units.
  • Requires MHFA to prioritize its use of appropriations for any program to serve households most affected by housing disparities. 
  • Prohibits an eviction with a pending rental assistance application.

Support the Lead-Safe Homes SF 1077 and HF 616 


Upcoming Events

Bring it Home, Minnesota. Rally at Capitol April 19th at Noon

This transformational legislation would bring relief to more than 550,000 Minnesotans struggling to afford their rent, and would set our entire state on a foundation for a better, brighter tomorrow. Yet despite a record abundance/ surplus and dozens of legislative co-authors, neither the state House, Senate, or Governor Walz included funding for Bring it Home, Minnesota in their proposed budgets for this year. RSVP here to say you are in. Nestor Gomez Jimenez, Campaign Manager

BRING AMERICA HOME NOW

Women, Family, Children and Youth (WFCY) Launch — April 22, 2022 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central Time

Poverty and Homelessness Conference — April 23, 2022 – Noon to 3:00 p.m. Central Time

Poverty and Homelessness Conference Registration form