2018 was an exciting year for local affordable housing advocates! Community members and organizations throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul have encouraged local leaders to make deeper investments across the continuum of housing to support production, preservation, and protections for residents.
In Minneapolis, advocates with Make Homes Happen pushed Mayor Jacob Frey to include an impressive $40 million for affordable housing in his budget proposal, and showed up in force to City Council public budget hearings to share our strong support. The $40 million for affordable housing includes $21 million for production through the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, as well as additional investments across the continuum of housing to support preservation and protections as well.
On December 6, Make Homes Happen members were standing by as Mayor Frey signed the budget--just one of many highlights in 2018! More than 100 people attended the coalition’s campaign kickoff this past spring, and throughout the summer and fall almost 500 supporters from across Minneapolis completed postcards to the Mayor and City Council members (check out this great video of MHH delivering postcards to Mayor Frey in August!). Make Homes Happen will continue advocating for a local, long-term, dedicated funding source to ensure the sustainability of resources available for productions, preservation, and protections.
Momentum for affordable housing is growing in St. Paul too. In his 2019 budget proposal, Mayor Melvin Carter included $12 million in local funding to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund in St. Paul. $10 million will be a “one-time infusion” of resources, while $2 million will be ongoing funding to seed the trust fund. These resources will be deployed across St. Paul to produce new affordable units, preserve existing affordable housing, and to support protections for residents. MCCD and its members operating in St. Paul have recently begun working together to build a coalition for affordable housing--the creation of an affordable housing trust fund is a great start, but we know additional resources and strategies will be needed to make sure everyone in St. Paul can afford a stable and safe home.
Community members were key to pushing for affordability at every opportunity this year, and not just in the budgets--Minneapolis also passed a comprehensive plan and inclusionary zoning policy that both emphasize creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities. St. Paul is currently finalizing their comprehensive plan, and the St. Paul City Council recently passed a resolution with different strategies to tackle the City’s affordable housing needs.
These investments and policies lay a strong foundation for Minneapolis and St. Paul to meaningfully address each city’s affordable housing needs. MCCD and our members will continue to advocate in 2019 and beyond--we hope you will join us!