Committees Find Initial Bipartisan Support for Increased Housing Resources

March 1, 2021

Several bills in both the House and Senate would provide additional resources to grant programs that help cities address housing needs.

House and Senate Housing committees have both heard bipartisan bills to authorize additional resources for state housing grant programs.

Senate bills

The Senate Housing Finance and Policy Committee considered three bills on Feb. 23 that would appropriate additional resources to three key Minnesota Housing Finance Agency programs.

Increases in funding to the Manufactured Home Park Infrastructure Grant Program, Economic Development and Housing Challenge Grant Program, and the Workforce Housing Development Program received broad bipartisan support.

The following bills were laid over for possible inclusion in the Senate omnibus housing finance bill:

  • SF 1083 (Mark Koran, R-North Branch). Increases the program funding for the Manufactured Home Park Infrastructure Grant program to $3 million for fiscal years (FY) 2022 and 2023, and continues that funding for each fiscal year starting in FY 2024. The League provided written testimony in support of the bill.
  • SF 1071 (Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls). Increases the program funding for the Economic Development and Housing Challenge Fund grant program from $12.9 million per year to $22.425 million for FY 2022 and FY 2023 to support the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of more workforce housing opportunities. The League provided written testimony in support of the bill.
  • SF 752 (Jim Abeler, R-Anoka). The bill as amended increases the program funding for the Workforce Housing Development Grant program, with a one-time appropriation of $3 million for FY 2022, and increases the grant amount from 25% to 50% of the rental housing development project. The League provided written testimony in support, and the committee heard the city perspective from Austin City Administrator Craig Clark.

Lastly, while SF 1002 (Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville) does not provide new program funding, the bill increases the maximum loan amount for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Rehabilitation Loan program from $27,000 to $40,000. The program assists low- and moderate-income homeowners with rehabilitation of existing owner-occupied housing. It was also laid over for possible inclusion in the Senate omnibus housing finance bill.

House bills

House companions to the above listed Senate bills have been introduced with bipartisan support, and three of the four await action by the House Housing Finance and Policy Committee.

Earlier this month, the committee laid over HF 619 (Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City) the companion to SF 752, for possible inclusion in the House omnibus housing finance bill.

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