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Governor Mark Dayton Establishes New Task Force on Affordable Housing

12/21/2017 12:51:11 PM

More than 554,000 Minnesota households struggle to afford quality housing, a 58 percent increase since 2000
Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, public and private investment totaling more than $5 billion has helped nearly 325,000 low- and moderate-income households
The Governor’s Task Force on Housing will recommend policies and practices to help alleviate Minnesota’s housing challenge
ST. PAUL, MN – Joined by affordable housing advocates and community stakeholders, Governor Mark Dayton today issued Executive Order 17-14, creating the Governor’s Task Force on Housing. The nonpartisan task force, comprised of experts and advocates from across Minnesota, will develop solutions to alleviate Minnesota’s housing challenge, and connect more Minnesota families with good places to live. The inability to find safe, affordable housing near job centers and good schools can be a significant barrier to employment and education opportunities for workers and families. Research further shows that children affected by housing insecurity are more likely to struggle in school.
“Too many families across Minnesota struggle to afford quality housing, forcing them to cut back on other essential needs like food, medicine, and education,” said Governor Dayton. “This Task Force will develop new solutions to address Minnesota’s housing challenges, and help ensure that more families have access to safe, affordable places to live. I urge Minnesota leaders to join me in carefully reviewing and acting upon their recommendations.”
More than 554,000 Minnesota households spend at least 30 percent of their income on rent or mortgage payments. The Minnesota Housing Partnership released a report in March 2017 that found that one out of every four families in Minnesota is paying more than they can afford for housing, and more than 9,300 Minnesotans faced homelessness in 2015, including nearly 3,500 children.
Since Governor Dayton took office in 2011, Minnesota has invested more than $5 billion in affordable housing projects across the state. These investment have helped nearly 325,000 low- and moderate-income Minnesota households find affordable quality housing, but there is much more to do to help more Minnesota families access quality, affordable housing. Access to affordable housing is a critical need both in Greater Minnesotan and the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Governor remains committed to making additional policy changes and investments to improve access to affordable housing throughout the remainder of his term.
“Minnesota has a strong housing finance system, but we cannot build our way out of the current crisis. To succeed, we need to improve alignment across all sectors to better serve all Minnesotans,” said Mary Tingerthal, Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. “This task force will increase our understanding of the state’s housing supply and deliver strategies to preserve existing affordable homes and create the new housing needed.”
A reliable supply of affordable housing has historically been a competitive advantage for Minnesota – ensuring that growing businesses had access to the workers they needed. However, increasing housing costs have priced many families out of housing near quality employment and educational opportunities.
“Homeownership is a cornerstone of strong communities and a strong economy,” said Bremer Financial CEO Jeanne Crain and member of the Itasca Project, who will co-chair the new task force. “I’m grateful that Governor Dayton has brought together this distinguished group of community leaders to tackle the critical affordable housing issues affecting job growth and economic vitality throughout Minnesota.”
The Itasca Project brings together leaders from across the business, philanthropic, and public sectors to raise regional economic competiveness, improve quality of life and expand prosperity for all. More information about their work is available here.
About the Governor’s Task Force on Housing
The Governor’s Task Force on Housing will review existing housing strategies that serve Minnesotans well and identify gaps in the system. It also will consider new practices to improve housing stability, and ensure that all families, individuals, and communities have the safe and stable housing needed for success. By July 31, 2018, the Task Force will provide specific policy proposals and actions that can be taken by the executive and legislative branches of state government and the private sector to improve housing stability in the state.
“A full range of housing choices that support stability for individuals and families at all income levels, regardless of background, in every Minnesota community, is critical to equitable growth, our economic vitality and long-term success as a state,” said Catholic Charities Director of Social Justice Advocacy Acooa Ellis, who also will co-chair the new Task Force. “I commend the Governor for his thoughtful leadership. The wide range of perspectives sought for this Task Force gives me confidence that our work together will result in a resource that future leaders can enthusiastically embrace.”
The Governor’s Task Forces includes 15 core members and 13 ex-officio members, representing affordable housing developers, housing industry experts from the nonprofit and private sectors, local government officials, state legislators, business leaders, and housing advocates from across Minnesota.
Core Members of the Task Force:
·         Jeanne Crain, Chief Executive Officer, Bremer Financial Corporation (Co-Chair)
·         Acooa Ellis, Director of Social Justice Advocacy, Catholic Charities (Co-Chair)
·         Jane Barrett, Executive Director, Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority
·         Hukun Abdullahi, Executive Director, Afro American Development Association
·         Emily Larson, Mayor, City of Duluth
·         Sheila Kiscaden, Commissioner, Olmsted County Board
·         Mar Valdecantos, Vice Chair, Northfield Human Rights Commission
·         Rick Goodeman, Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership
·         Diane Sprague, Director, Lifetime Home Project
·         Skip Duschesneau, President, D.W. Jones, Inc.
·         Richelle Taylor, Realtor, RE/MAX Metro Realty
·         Devean George, President, George Group North
·         Lael Robertson, Staff Attorney, Housing Justice Center
·         Mike Paradise, President, Bigelow Homes
·         MayKao Hang, President, Wilder Foundation
Ex-Officio Members of the Task Force:
·         Brad Hewitt, Chief Executive Officer, Thrivent Financial, representing the Itasca Project
·         Mary Rippe, President, Minnesota Multi Housing Association, representing the Minnesota Multi Housing Association
·         Deidre Schmidt, President, CommonBond Communities, representing the Minnesota Housing Partnership
·         Terri Thao, Program Director, Nexus Community Partners, representing the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
·         Paul Williams, President, Project for Pride in Living, representing the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers
·         Neal Loidolt, President, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, representing the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
·         Harry Melander, President, Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, representing the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council
·         Matt Kramer, Vice President for University and Government Relations, University of Minnesota, representing the University of Minnesota
·         Mike Maguire, Mayor, City of Eagan, representing the Urban Land Institute Regional Council of Mayors
·         One Member of the Majority Party in the Minnesota Senate
·         One Member of the Minority Party in the Minnesota Senate
·         One Member of the Majority Party in the Minnesota House of Representatives
·         One Member of the Minority Party in the Minnesota House of Representatives
To read Governor Dayton’s executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing, click here.
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