Published: February 4, 2020
ST. PETER – Ahead of the next legislative session, bipartisan organizations Homes for All and Partners for Affordable Housing announced an agenda to push for $500 million dollars in bonds to build affordable homes across the state.
“We need funds for more emergency shelter beds. We need to be able to make sure those emergency shelters can operate and then once somebody’s ready to leave the shelter they need a place to go. They need a home and that’s why we need such a large bonding bill this year,” says Matt Traynor, Engagement Co-Chair, Homes for All .
Funds from Governor Walz’s bonding bill could be used to provide the funding as housing costs rise in Minnesota and nationwide.
“Housing is really a crucial core component of a healthy, happy life for all families across Minnesota so if they don’t have housing it impacts so many other things,” says Jen Theneman, Executive Director, Partners for Affordable Housing.
When housing costs require more than 30 percent of a household’s income, families are more likely to have difficulty paying for basic needs.
“The reason that there is an affordable housing crisis is because things are really expensive. There are so many people in Mankato and this region that are spending a lot of money. More than most people would pay for a mortgage,” says Theneman.
When some experience homelessness they have shelters to turn to for help, but often have difficulty finding affordable housing after they leave the shelter.
The $500 million would assist those getting back on their feet by building affordable housing, which in some cases has provided success stories.
“I have three daughters that have their own bedrooms and I’m finishing my bachelor’s of science in nursing. I am going to do really big things, and I have daughters because I’ve ended this horrible cycle because of the roof over my head right now. It’s something to be grateful for right,” says April Chouinard of St. Peter.
The agenda will be brought before legislators in the next session that begins this month.