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MICAH Northeast Chapter Legislative Breakfast

About 35 people gathered November 29, 2016 at the White Bear Lake City Hall for the second annual legislative breakfast, packing the available space. Senator Roger Chamberlain (District 38) spoke first saying his caucus is committed to good work for the people but there are no hard plans yet. His recurrent question was: Why, after 50 years and trillions of dollars, are there more people on food stamps, more people homeless, education gaps, etc.? His personal priorities included less broken families/single parents, improved high school graduation rate and more jobs in manufacturing and mining.

After Senator Chamberlain, a panel of regional/local representatives talked, including: Mayor Jo Emerson, White Bear Lake; Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt; and Met Council members Sandy Rummel and Harry Melander. They all affirmed the need for affordable housing and reminded us that housing and transportation must go hand in hand. They also said that all sectors need to work together to solve problems today. Sandy Rummel emphasized equity as a primary focus for the Met Council. Harry Melander urged us to understand that the world is changing and that we all need to acknowledge and deal with this. They all spoke to the comp plans for individual cities and urged us to be involved in being sure that affordable housing is included.

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As Minneapolis gentrifies, some of the last neighborhoods for the poor are now getting squeezed
By Adam Belz Star Tribune November 28, 2016 — 9:08am

A long-term drop in crime, combined with a concentration of high-wage jobs and a renewed preference for urban life among highly educated workers, have made the city's core more desirable. Complete article here.


Housing for ALL invites you to their first Annual Breakfast with Legislators 

on Tuesday, January 17th, 7:00-9:00 AM, at St Joseph the Worker Church. Meet with your state and local policy makers to build relationships and proclaim as people of faith that Every One Needs a Home! The session will consist of short state and local policy presentations. A continental breakfast will be provided. Constituents will have the opportunity to meet with their legislators and local policy makers, ask questions and dialogue about housing and other issues of concern. Please contact Roxanne Smith at 763-400-7208 or rsmith@sjtw.net with questions or to RSVP.


MICAH Legislative Success!!!
updated 5-24-16

Thank you for your prayers, phone calls and visits this Session

Bills supported by MICAH that passed and were sent to the Governor for signature on Sunday:

In the Equity Bill:
MN Housing Finance Agency

  1. $250,000 Landlord Guarantee Fund Pilot (Risk Mitigation) in FHPAP(Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program)
  2. $3 million for first-time home buyers down payment closing cost assistance
  3. $500,000 for expansion of Family Stabilization Plan Program in the HOME Law Activities (Designated to Build Wealth) "an organization that receives one time appropriation is not eligible for the competitive grant." said Chair Garofalo.
  4. $500,000 for homeownership capacity training in the HOME Law Activities

DEED (Department employment and Economic Development)

  1. $1.5 Million in 2017 Latino Communities United in Service (CLUES) for expansion of culturally tailored programs that address employment and education skills gap. $1.5 Million 2018-19 Biennium.
  2. $2 Million FY 2017 split between Youthprise and Somalian Youth Program

In Jobs and Economic Development Bill:

  1. $500,000 in FY17 for rental assistance pilot for exploited women and children (SF311)
  2. $500,000 in FY17 for housing projects with training centers for jobs in high-growth areas (SF1909)
  3. $750,000 in FY17 for workforce and affordable homeownership program (SF3167)
  4. Changes to FHPAP (Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program)
    a. Change to FHPAP, under definition of families, raises the age to 24

    b. Change to FHPAP allowing tribes, or groups of tribes, to apply

Department of Human Rights 
$184,000 for creation of an office in Greater MN - St. Cloud. The Federal Government will provide some matching funds and bring the total to about $525,000. 

Department of Human Services

  1. Homeless Youth Act, $33,000 in FY17, and $2.9million in 18-19 biennium
  2. Safe Harbor, increases eligibility to age 24, $33,000 in FY17 and $1.5million in 18-19 biennium for DHS

Tax Bill
Working Family Credit: $49 million expansion of the Working Family Tax Credit. This expansion provides an important income boost to about 386,000 Minnesota families and individuals with modest incomes across the state, and provides the largest benefits to the most struggling families.

 Bills Signed into Law

SF 2555 Granny Pods signed into Law by the Governor 5-12-16.Provides Immediate and Short term housing options for seniors with their families (6 months with potential extension of 6 months)  

NO BONDING OR TRANSPORTATION BILL was passed.
We are waiting to hear what the plan is by the Governor and leadership.
In the last hour of the regular Legislative Session the House included $45 Million in their bonding for housing (1/2 Governor's request and about 1/3 of Homes for All request). That bill failed. 

Thank you for your advocacy last week- the House went from $0 in their bonding bill for housing on Thursday to $45 million Sunday night!


Settlement could alter how affordable housing is built throughout Twin Cities metro

By Peter Callaghan at MINNPOST 05/13/16

Somewhat quietly, the city councils of Minneapolis and St. Paul are approving a settlement of complaints that the two cities are violating federal fair housing law — an agreement that could result in broad changes to how the region builds affordable housing.

The Minneapolis City Council voted 10-2 Friday to approve the settlement of a legal complaint brought by the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH) alleging the cities failed to follow a federal requirement to “affirmatively further fair housing.” The requirement calls for governments that accept federal housing money to not only lessen factors that lead to segregated neighborhoods, but to take steps to foster integration more...



Farhio Khalif, MICAH board member and executive director of Voices of East African Women, along with other Muslim community leaders, met with law enforcement officials to discuss anxiety after terrorists attacks. 

By Stephen Montemayor , Star Tribune March 24, 2016 - 9:17 PM

 

Law enforcement officials and leaders of the Twin Cities Muslim community gathered Thursday to confront the anxiety that has arisen in the days following Tuesday’s terror attacks in Belgium and the high-profile rhetoric they have inspired. 

Plans for the meeting materialized shortly after Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz on Wednesday referenced Minneapolis’ Somali-American community as an example of where law enforcement efforts could be concentrated while doubling down on calls this week for authorities to be able to patrol Muslim communities. More here....






Are you in a housing crisis? If you are facing foreclosure, can't find a place to live, or have other tenant issues, check our list of links here.  MICAH does not directly help with these issues.

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