About the Act
The Housing Solutions Act proposes to create a statewide, significant, new, dedicated funding stream for affordable housing. The Act dedicates resources generated from this funding stream to Low-Income Rental Assistance, Affordable Housing Rehab & Production,and a New Local Housing Incentive Fund.
The state estimates that passage of the Act would generate approximately $100 million in 2008 and 2009 in new revenue for rental assistance, workforce housing, and creation of a local incentive-based fund accessible to small rural communities as well as larger communities. The state estimates that these new funds would assist over 6,500 households with rental assistance, over 1,400 households with new rental housing and 1200 households could become homeowners. Over 9000 households could be assisted each year.
The need for additional housing resources has never been greater. There are 297,000 low-income households in Minnesota who can’t afford their housing and that number is expected to grow to 330,000 households by 2010. (“The Next Decade of Housing in Minnesota,” BBC Research and Consulting, 2003.) These facts do not take into account the negative effects of the mortgage foreclosure crisis.
The Alliance supports creating a dedicated funding stream to fund housing programs because housing programs have come under fire in recent years as significant budget cuts were made to help compensate for the state’s budget deficit. Appropriations for affordable housing reached an all-time high in 2000-2001 with $171 million for the biennium. Sadly, appropriations were scaled back to $70 million for the 2006-2007 biennium.
In the face of these cuts, the Housing Solutions Alliance formed to create dedicated funding for a range of housing opportunities in Minnesota. The Alliance is comprised of over 200 organizational supporters and thousands of individual supporters from across the state.