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November 2018 Affordable Homes Update
October 11, 2018

It’s mid-October, but the weather makes it feel like November is already here.  As colder weather arrives, the issue of making sure everyone has a home becomes more urgent. In the November Affordable Homes Update, we talk about the ongoing situation at the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment, new guidelines from the Minnesota Housing Authority, three U.S. Senators offer plans to help people with rental assistance and purchasing homes, helping people experiencing homelessness feel like they belong in their communities, and a health company seeks to fight homelessness. Let’s begin.

Let's start locally. The Minnesota Multi-Housing Association recently introduced a framework to preserve and develop affordable housing in Minnesota. The framework includes protecting residents, preserving Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) and developing affordable housing. The Wilder Foundation prepares for its homeless count that takes place every three years. A house for homeless female veterans is opening up in Maplewood.

It was seven years ago that the last vehicle rolled off the line at Ford’s  St. Paul Assembly plant. The city has been working with other members in the community to decide how to best use the property.  Ryan Companies developed a plan for residential and retail properties including 750 affordable apartments.

The Twin Cities Metro area has grown by 7.4 percent since 2010. However, housing production during that same period has only increased by 5.4 percent. The Southwest Journal looks at how Minneapolis is trying to create more housing and also keep renters in their homes. Also in the Journal is a story about finding affordable housing in Minneapolis that begins with this statement: “Aaron McLaurin hopes three jobs will be enough to rent his own place.” Speaking of which, another growing metropolitan area, Charlotte, North Carolina, presented its own plan to combat the lack of affordable housing.

In national news, the executive director of Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Service Center makes the case for a “Housing First” Strategy. Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which would spend half a trillion dollars on affordable housing programs by raising the Estate Tax. Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have introduced separate pieces of legislation that would provide rental assistance through tax credits.

When someone experiences homelessness, there is more going on than just not having a place to live- they don't feel they belong in their communities. Programs in New Haven, Connecticut, and Montreal are working to help people truly feel a part of the towns in which they live.

A recent survey shows that 1 in 6 elderly African Americans has experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. In fact, they are three times as likely to have experienced homelessness than their white counterparts.

Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest healthcare companies in the nation, is investing $200 million in affordable housing programs across the United States believing "Housing is Healthcare."

That’s it for the Affordable Homes for November. See you next month for the last Update of 2018.

 

Dennis Sanders
Dennis Sanders is the Content Specialist for Beacon.