Three MICAH regional chapters feature Legislative Breakfast meetings

MICAH South invites you to meet with your Legislators at the MICAH South Chapter Breakfast With Legislators

MICAH invites you to meet on Wednesday, January 10 with your Legislators, build relationships and proclaim as people of faith: All God’s People Need a Home! There will be a Panel Presentation titled "A View of Housing Issues and Actions for our Communities." Constituents will have the opportunity to dialogue with their Legislators & policy makers in district groups about housing & other issues of concern. For full information, click here.
For further information: Kathy Groettum groettumk@comcast.net 651-235-5213

Twin Cities rental crisis discussed at MICAH Northeast Legislative Breakfast

The Twin Cities is experiencing a rental crisis, and the number of people experiencing homelessness is increasing. Find out what our state and local officials are thinking at the MICAH Northeast Chapter 2018 Legislative Breakfast on Tuesday January 9th at Stillwater’s Ascension Episcopal Church. Breakfast is served by Our Community Kitchen for freewill offering starting at 8:00 AM and panels with local policy makers begin at 8:30 AM. The church is located at 215 North Fourth St. in Stillwater. RSVP/For more information contact Rev. Brenda Hoffman at b.hoffman@aechurch.org or call 651-439-2609

Balsam ApartmentsHousing for All (MICAH Northwest) Invites you to a Breakfast with Legislators, Tuesday, January 30, 7:00-9:00 am at St Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 7180 Hemlock Lane, Maple Grove 

Meet with your state and local policy makers to build relationships and proclaim as people of faith that Every One Needs a Home!

Constituents will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss housing with legislators, senators, city mayors, city council members and pastors, faith community leaders, business leaders and developers of affordable housing. Citizens from the following cities have been invited: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Corcoran, Crystal, Dayton, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Rogers, and St. Michael. The session will consist of short state and local policy presentations.

A continental breakfast will be provided.

Seating is limited. Please contact Roxanne Smith at 763-400-7208 or rsmith@sjtw.net with questions or to RSVP.

Site along Old Rockford Road/Highway 55 slated for 47 affordable housing units

From Sun Sailor Dec 5, 2017, By Kristen Miller kristen.miller@ecm-inc.com
Cranberry Ridge supporters (including Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and MICAH Housing for All chapter) rejoiced Nov. 28 after the Plymouth City Council approved the proposed 47-unit affordable housing development, Cranberry Ridge, for the site that had been called into question. See full article here.

Former Renters Settle Class-Action Lawsuit For $650,000
By Kirsten Swanson KSTP-TV October 19, 2017 10:39 PM

A class-action lawsuit, alleging housing discrimination by an apartment complex in Richfield, has been settled for $650,000. The complex was formally known as "Crossroads at Penn."

New management renamed the units when it took over in the fall of 2015.The rental units, owned by MSP Crossroads and Soderberg Apartment Specialists, came under fire in 2015 when they announced they would no longer accept federal Section 8 housing vouchers. Complete article here http://kstp.com/news/richfield-apartment-complex-former-renters-settle-class-action-lawsuit/4640906/ .

MICAH 2017 Celebration "Living Love!"

was held Tuesday, June 13. The Keynote speaker was Pastor Chris Olson Bingea from First Lutheran Church in St. Paul. MICAH celebrated their heroes with the 2017 Community Hero Awards Complete list of awards is here.

Among those honored were Cathy Walters and her group acting as www.mobilehopemn.org along with the MICAH Housing for All chapter. Cathy has been part of a small faith sharing group for several years studying issues around poverty, immigration, criminal justice, racism, homelessness. Instead of entering into more study the group collectively decided to start being the hands & feet of Jesus and put their energy into building relationships in the Dayton Park Properties in Dayton, MN.

Left to right: Roxanne Smith, St. Joseph the Worker Social Justice Coordinator; Jane Warren, Volunteer; Sharon Burns, Volunteer; JD Burns, Board of Director; Dan Walter, volunteer/financial contributor; and, Cathy Walter, Exec. Director/volunteer. 

MICAH recognizes Richfield Council Member Maria Regan Gonzalez 

As new council member, Maria Regan Gonzalez is the complete package for an "affordable housing champion" who works with the people and for the people. She was instrumental in saving Seasons Park, a 420 unit Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)project in Richfield with Aeon. 

MICAH South Chapter recognizes as Community Heroes, the four congregations: Grace Lutheran Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church, and Easter Lutheran Church, who were willing to open their doors to 78 of our community members and host a warm, safe 24 hour temporary crisis shelter during bitterly cold days in December and January.  The Pioneer Press wrote about this effort here.

Treated with dignity and respect, singles, youth and families who had no other option for safe shelter, found rest, warmth, help and peace with these four hosting faith communities. Through their faith, courage and commitment, numerous other Dakota County community partners, elected officials, congregation members and organizations have become aware of the need for a safe shelter for our neighbors. Hundreds reached out in support of the shelter guests last winter. They have given of their time, donated needed supplies, contributed financially and are seeking ways to be part of the effort to establish a permanent safe shelter for our neighbors. A vital initiative has developed through these four congregations who on short notice answered a critical community need. 

Pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe of Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley  and others from the four honored churches.

MICAH 2017 Legislative Agenda (Bolded items- top priorities)

1. Ensure smaller culturally diverse organizations are funded through specific targeted set asides in an Equity Bill and language in appropriation bills prioritizes funding for diverse organizations to increase their capacity and to obtain State funding for Rental, Homeownership, and Homeless Programs including: Homeless Outreach, Prevention, Shelter, Youth Services, Transitional Housing and Supportive Housing.

2. Lead Safety Bill- Sen Hoffman and Rep. Clark are the chief authors. 

3. Increase State Resources for Housing: Comparable bill to the Common Sense Housing Investment Act which changes the Mortgage Interest Deduction into to a Tax credit. FEDERAL LEGISLATION: Common Sense Housing Investment Act The bill: Lowers the cap on the amount of a mortgage for which interest can be deducted from $1 million to $500,000, and allows home equity loans and second homes under the $500,000 cap. Converts the mortgage interest deduction to a 15% non-refundable mortgage interest tax credit.

a. Provides a tax break to an additional 15 Million low and moderate income homeowners who currently do not claim MID;
b. Provides $241 billion over 10 years to address pressing affordable rental housing needs, including homelessness, helping veterans, seniors, families with children, adults, and people with disabilities afford apartments and fighting poverty; and
c. Supports nearly 4 million jobs, generating $282 billion in local revenue and $53 billion in local tax revenue.


4. Homes for All: See agenda here and here.

5. Accessibility: Expungement of Criminal Records and Unlawful Detainers (Second Chance) and Support Universal Housing designs. Restore the Vote for Felons who have completed their incarceration. 

6. Livable Incomes 

a. Double MFIP (public assistance grants) so families can afford housing. Increase public assistance for adults and unemployment benefits. GAAIN- Give Aid to All in NEED
b. Sick and safe leave, and paid time off.
c. Driver Licenses for Workers 

7. Education: Support legislation that creates excellent integrated educational opportunities for children and adults, including job training throughout the State.

8. Health Care: Accessible and affordable for everyone. 

9. Civil Rights Enforcement 

a. Increase funding to Minnesota Human Rights Department.
b. Fair Housing Testing (MN Housing and Met Council) Fair Lending Practices 

10. Transportation: Funding should ensure affordable housing along the transit line, replacement of demolished housing, protections from tax and rent increases. People and businesses employed to develop should be community people and businesses matching at least the racial demographics of the neighborhood or metro area, whichever is higher.

MICAH 2016 Legislative Success!!!

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 - $35 Million Passed
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)
  4. $500,000 FY 2017 $1 million FY2018-19 for homeownership capacity training- 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

.All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC): Relocation Trust Fund changes passed. This increases the benefits for the homeowner moving their manufactured home or buyout to 2016 costs/values. Minnesota has 180,000 manufactured home park residents.

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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