State Leaders Gather in Maple Grove for Affordable Housing Conversation
The subject of affordable housing took center stage Friday in Maple Grove. A group of leaders, including U.S. Representative Dean Phillips, gathered for a community conversation on the issue.
Friday’s community conversation at the Maple Grove Government Center featured some of Minnesota’s top decision-makers on affordable housing.
The group includes the Minnesota Housing Commissioner, one of the executives of the Minnesota Housing Partnership, and a familiar face to this area who now serves on the Metropolitan Council.
“It impacts everybody,” said Judy Johnson, a Metropolitan Council Member from District 1. “If you’re a first-time home buyer, good luck trying to find something that works for you and then not be in competition for that property. And it also impacts everybody across the whole continuum, because we have a shortage of housing across the whole spectrum, which is putting pressure points at certain income levels throughout the region and the state.”
Twin Cities Not Keeping Up with Affordable Housing
According to the Metropolitan Council, the Twin Cities metro is not keeping up with the need for housing that’s affordable to families with low incomes.
Nearly 9,000 affordable units were added to the region’s housing stock between 2011 and 2017, but the Met Council says that’s far below the 52,570 affordable units needed to keep pace with household growth.
In fact, the region has likely lost more affordable units than it has produced since 2011.
Friday’s gathering, hosted by Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips, aims to help reverse that trend.
“We have some of the greatest disparities here in our region and state, and we need to look at that; and how does it impact our economic competitiveness because there is a big piece of that too,” Johnson said. “And so, I think it’s great that people are coming together to learn more, to band together, and find solutions. Because it’s not one entity that has the solutions. We all have to pitch in.”
Meanwhile, Governor Tim Walz recommended earlier this month in his bonding proposal for the Minnesota Legislature to borrow $276 million to pay for affordable housing projects across the state.