2015 Legislative Agenda

What are MICAH’s Legislative priorities? To advocate and work for justice, equity, and mercy in implementing structural and systemic changes, including the use of our tax resources, so that everyone, without exception, has a decent, safe, accessible and affordable place to call HOME!

2015 Legislative Agenda
1. HOME Law: $100 Million Investment.
In the 2014 Session the Housing Opportunities Made Equitable (HOME) Bill became law. The law provides longer term home ownership training opportunities and more flexible financing while meeting the underwriting criteria of the Minnesota Dept. of Commerce for People of Color, Hispanics and American Indians.

• For every $1 invested there is a $12 Social Return (University of MN).
• Minnesota Housing has already invested $21.3 Million of its own resources into HOME Law activities in 2014 and 2015.
• Minnesota moved from the worst to the third worst state in the nation in our disparity between white and non-white home ownership in 2014.
• Additional benefits:

- People will increase their credit scores, access to financing, and assets.
- Neighborhoods will stabilize and increase tax base as foreclosed homes are purchased and new homes are built on vacant lots.
- Apartments will become available as people move into home ownership.

2. Homes for All.
• Creating housing stability.
• Creating strong communities statewide.
• Meeting goals of Minnesota's Olmstead plan.

The $39 million package includes the following base appropriation increases:
• Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance (FHPAP): $4 million (23% increase).
• Challenge Fund: $4.75 million (18% increase).
• Housing Trust Fund: $8 million (35% increase) i.e. $5 million to the base, $2 million for Highly Mobile Student pilot, $1 million for Ex-Offender pilot.
• Capacity Building: $250,000 (33% increase).
• Bridges: $1.5 million (26% increase).
• Single Family Rehab: $1 million (18% increase).
TOTAL Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) increase: $19.5 million.

• Long-Term Homeless Support Services: $6.5 million (56% increase).
• Transitional Housing: $3 million (47% increase).
• Emergency Services: $1 million (84% increase).
• Homeless Youth Act: $4 million (64% increase).
• Housing Supports for Adults with Serious Mental Illness: $5 million (333% increase).
TOTAL Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) increase: $19.5 million.

3. Equity and Affordable Housing.
• Fiscal Note required, support legislation that require an Equity Note on each bill.
• Banks that do business with the state be required to invest more resources in addressing equitable opportunities in home ownership and access to credit.
• Support Health Equity Report Recommendations (Health Department).
• Support Asian Community in accessing targeted Transitional and Housing subsidy funding (Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans).
• Set aside in housing funding for Senior Housing.
• Safe Homes: Lead abatement.
• Accessibility:

- Expungement of Criminal Records and Unlawful Detainers (Second Chance).
- Support Universal designs.

4. Livable Incomes.
• Support increases in public assistance benefits to ensure people can afford housing and basic needs. (Welfare Rights Committee).
• Sick and safe leave paid time off for illness or a critical safety issue (Take Action).
• Driver License for Undocumented Workers (Chicano Latino Affairs Council).

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

6. Civil Rights Enforcement.
• Increase funding to Minnesota Human Rights Department (Council on Black Minnesotans).
• Fair Housing Testing (Minnesota Housing and Met Council).
• Restore the Vote for Felons who have completed their incarceration. (Second Chance and Take Action).

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

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