December 17, 2020
In an online announcement Thursday, Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho announced that the Minnesota Housing board of directors approved staff recommendations of $195 million to create and preserve 2,387 homes throughout the state, including rental units and single-family homes.
“Every Minnesotan deserves access to affordable housing,” said Governor Tim Walz. “That has never been clearer than this year as we seek stable places to live, raise families, and shelter from the virus. We must increase affordable housing options for Minnesotans across the state, and today’s announcement is a critical step toward making that a reality.”
Prior to the pandemic, Minnesota faced a significant housing shortage, especially for low- and moderate-income residents. Nearly half a million households in Minnesota were spending more than 30% of their income on housing. The economic impact of COVID-19 has made the situation worse.
“Minnesota Housing’s 2020 selections and advancements chart the future of the state’s housing investments with equity at the center,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Housing is health. It’s the foundation for success, a safe place to be, and a springboard for opportunity. Every Minnesotan deserves housing that is affordable and fits their needs.”
Part of this investment is made possible by the $100 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed into law by Governor Walz, five months later than usual. Eleven projects are proceeding for further review because of these Housing Infrastructure Bonds. Minnesota Housing worked with great speed to put the new resources to work to address the pressing housing needs in the state.
“It’s tremendous that the Legislature passed $100 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds this year, and it’s amazing to be able to talk about putting them to work just two months after they passed,” said Commissioner Ho. “Housing Infrastructure Bonds make it possible for us to create some of the most deeply affordable homes and serve Minnesotans with extremely low incomes. The permanent
supportive housing we can create with these bonds are desperately needed and are in short supply across the state.”
The funding for NeighborWorks Home Partners includes $206,000 to support targeted home improvement financing for St. Paul homeowners, and $119,660 that will be used to develop affordable single-family housing in the capitol city.
“Home is more important than ever, and making sure people have access to affordable home improvement to make needed repairs and updates is vital to creating and maintaining healthy and affordable places to live,” said Jason Peterson, CEO of NeighborWorks Home Partners. “We are grateful to be able to partner with Minnesota Housing to make more safe and affordable housing available in Saint Paul and throughout the state.”