<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=730207053839709&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
We are operating virtually until further notice: Read the details. Habitat homeowners: Click for support.

Advocacy Update: State Legislative Session Preview

Greta Gaetz
Posted by Greta Gaetz on 11:45 AM on January 13, 2021

The Minnesota State Legislature kicked off its 2021 session on January 5. While many legislative meetings, committee hearings, and floor sessions are adapting to virtual environments due to COVID-19, Habitat is continuing to elevate the importance of homeownership as a critical piece of solving the affordable housing crisis and the key to building wealth and opportunity across generations.

Just as Habitat partners with community supporters and volunteers, government has an important role to play in creating equitable access to homeownership through investments in producing affordable homes and preparing families to become homeowners. In the wake of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to preserve affordable homeownership opportunities so that every family has a safe, stable place to call home.

In partnership with the Minnesota Homeownership Center, Twin Cities Habitat has four main priorities on our legislative agenda this year:

1. Increase funding for the Homeownership Education, Counseling, and Training (HECAT) Program

HECAT helps to preserve affordable homeownership opportunities by providing much needed foreclosure prevention counseling, homebuyer pre-purchase counseling, and homebuyer education and training.

Financial  Coaching Class (1)
A photo from a Habitat homeownership education course, pre-COVID-19. All Habitat homeowners go through one-on-one financial coaching with a Homeownership Advisor and complete homeownership education courses on their path to homeownership.

2. Protect funding for the Challenge Program

The Challenge Program invests in producing affordable homeownership opportunities by providing funding for land acquisition, new construction, and home affordability.

3. Increase cap amounts for the Rehab Loan Program and Emergency Loan Program

The Rehab Loan Program and Emergency Loan Program provide resources for health and safety related home repairs. Expanding these maximum loan amounts will better cover construction labor and material costs and stabilize homeowners with significant repair needs.

Project supervisor Ashley Realbanas installing a railing at a home
Twin Cities Habitat's Age Well at HomeTM program and A Brush with Kindness home repair program help stabilize homeowners with critically-needed home repairs and safety modifications.

4. Continue housing assistance for homeowners impacted by COVID-19

As households continue to face economic impacts due to COVID-19, housing assistance helps prevent foreclosure, preserve affordable homeownership opportunities, and ensure long-term sustainability for homeowners in mortgage crisis.

Untitled design - 2020-11-17T153623.214
Many Twin Cities Habitat homeowners benefitted from the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP). A dedicated team of Habitat volunteers worked hard to help homeowners process their applications—read their story here.

In addition to these priorities, Twin Cities Habitat works in coalition to broaden our impact at the state legislature. We support the efforts of Homeownership Minnesota to expand investments in affordable homeownership production, preparation, and preservation. We are also an endorsing member of Homes for All, whose legislative agenda encompasses the full continuum of housing.

We invite you to become an active partner in amplifying our voice. Sign up for action alerts to receive legislative updates, engage with lawmakers, and make sure that affordable homeownership is a priority this session.

Sign up for Action Alerts

Tags: Advocacy, 2021

Related Posts

Advocacy Update: State Legislative Session Preview

The Minnesota State Legislature kicked off its 2021 session on January 5. While many legislative...

Read More

Advocacy Update: Housing on the Local Level

The air is getting crisp, snow is beginning to fall, and loved ones prepare to hunker down for the...

Read More

Six things you might not know about affordable housing

You might hear the term “affordable housing” used often, whether in the news or by someone you...

Read More

Get the latest Habitat stories, news, and event announcements delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our monthly Wire e-newsletter today!