An estimated 14,000 Minnesotans are homeless on any given night, and one of every eight Minnesota households pays half or more of their income toward housing. With such high housing expenditures, families struggle to meet their other basic needs. Across the entire state, the lack of adequate affordable housing units is a primary cause of hunger. Housing instability also contributes to poorer health, educational, and workforce outcomes. Affordable housing shortages can stifle economic development (an extra challenge since one reason for the shortage is the recession and foreclosure crisis, which dramatically increased demand for affordable rental housing).
As part of the Homes for All Coalition Policy Team and Community Engagement Team, LA-MN has been involved in the shaping of a package of funding and programs which would secure additional funding to expand a broad continuum of housing and homelessness services to help thousands have access to housing or maintain current housing. This would include an additional 19.5 million for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and 19.5 million for the Department of Human Services, to
- Reduce housing shortages in greater Minnesota and expand affordable rental options
- Reduce the public cost of homelessness through both prevention and coordinated services for households who have been homeless long term
- Promote economic development through both housing development and the rehabbing of homes for low-income seniors, families, and workers
- Promote health and educational achievement through services for homeless youth, transitional housing, rental assistance for families, and assistance for low-income people with serious mental illness
- Expand quality housing options for renters and homeowners.
Links to HOMES FOR ALL COALITION materials:
Videos: (The 2015 video by Habitat for Humanity includes pictures from many Homes for All partners, including several from a joint Lutheran Advocacy-MN and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota Affordable Housing/Homeless Youth event).
2014 Legislative Request (one-page pdf): (The Legislature passed the full request! But this is still just a fraction of what Minnesota needs to catch up with adequate affordable housing!)
2014 Legislative Request (four-page pdf): (The Minnesota Legislature passed the full request!)