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Affordable Homes Update August 2018
August 24, 2018

The Great Minnesota Get-Together just started, so it seems only fitting that this edition of the Affordable Homes Update would be chock-full of news from Minnesota! So grab some cheese curds, cookies-in-a-bucket-that-can't-be-named-due-to-licensing-protections, and anything on a stick, and get ready to dive in:

  • A new report details the stark reality of homelessness among people who were formerly incarcerated. Innovative approaches – such as Great River Landing – seek to disrupt the vicious cycle whereby people are “tossed back and forth between jail and the street,” but the sheer scale of the issue is causing communities to envision further action.

  • Meanwhile, Minnesota experienced a 4 percent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness from 2016 to 2017, making us one of only two Midwestern states to see more people without a home over the year. Minnesota also has the dubious distinction of being #1 for permanent supportive housing capacity lost, at 1,379 fewer beds. Read the full national report here, and see where else Minnesota ranks when it comes to ending homelessness.

  • Nearly 120 people experiencing homelessness formed an encampment for safety and support just south of downtown Minneapolis, highlighting the difficulties too many in our community face. As community organizations and the city seek to address health, sanitation, and dignity considerations, the complex situation has many calling for a vigorous, comprehensive, person-centered response to homelessness.

  • Communities across the region are stepping up their efforts to ensure that all people have a home. In launching their 2019 budgets and the vision they reflect, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis included significant resources for stabilizing and expanding access to affordable housing.

  • Local efforts such as those envisioned by Minneapolis and St. Paul are one piece of the picture. The Governor’s Task Force on Housing recently released their recommendations for how the state can step up their commitment, and there are lots of practical steps outlined. Have a decent amount of time? Read the recommendations. Have a free evening? Grab some popcorn and read the full, enlightening report. Want to hear a bit of our reaction? Read the article by the Pioneer Press featuring quotes from Executive Director Lee Blons. 

  • A new exhibit at the Hennepin History Museum details the local history of racial housing discrimination. “Owning Up” strives to inform people of the explicit historical biases and decisions that led to stark racial segregation decades ago, but still play out in very real ways today. The exhibit runs through January 20.  

Dan Gregory
Dan is the Strategic Communications Manager with Beacon.