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3 min read

The Historic 2023 MN Legislative Session

The Historic 2023 MN Legislative Session

The 2023 Legislative Session in Minnesota was nothing short of groundbreaking. Twin Cities Habitat advocates were able to gather in person for the first time since 2019 for Habitat on the Hill. And our advocacy efforts, combined with other housing advocates around the state, secured the largest-ever investment in housing in Minnesota’s history. Read on to recap Habitat on the Hill and learn how the legislative session will impact Minnesota’s housing landscape.

Habitat on the Hill 2023

The first Twin Cities Habitat on the Hill in FOUR years was a huge success! The excitement in the room was palpable as attendees gathered to discuss Habitat’s legislative priorities and the affordable housing crisis throughout the state. Click here to read our 2023 legislative priorities.

More than 90 attendees came from 10 Habitat affiliates across the state, and together they met with 82 Minnesota legislators, making it a productive day. Governor Tim Walz, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Representative Mike Howard, and Senator Rich Draheim were among the speakers who left attendees feeling inspired to continue their efforts in pushing for safe and accessible affordable housing.

A particularly moving moment was hearing LeAndra, a Habitat homeowner, share her journey to homeownership. She longed for the independence and stability that comes with owning a home, a feeling she had experienced as a child in her grandmother's house.

Unfortunately, she lost that sense of security after her grandmother's passing, a hardship many folks must navigate. LeAndra detailed how helpful the Habitat homeownership process was for her, from the step-by-step support along the way to the homeownership education that set her up for success as a first-time homebuyer. LeAndra inspired everyone with her life-changing experience of becoming a Habitat homeowner—read LeAndra’s story here!

LeAndra, Governor, Lt. Governor, Habitat on the Hill 2023

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Habitat Homeowner LeAndra, and Governor Tim Walz all spoke at Habitat on the Hill 2023.

A large group of people cheering on the Minnesota Capitol steps.

Habitat advocates from across Minnesota gather for a photo on the Capitol steps.

A group of advocates meet with Senator Pappas at Habitat on the Hill 2023.

LeAndra and a group of Habitat advocates meet with their Senator.

An advocate shares Habitat's legislative priorities with her legislator.

An advocate shares Habitat's legislative priorities with her legislator.


Click here to see all the photos from Habitat on the Hill 2023.


The Historic Housing Bill

The Twin Cities Habitat Government Affairs Team is thrilled to announce that our 2023 legislative priorities, advocated for at Habitat on the Hill by our supporters, have been approved and signed by Governor Walz! This includes an unprecedented $1 billion allocation toward affordable housing. This achievement will have a tremendous impact on our community and help to close Minnesota’s gaping racial disparities in homeownership.

One of our priorities, the First-Generation Homebuyers Down Payment Assistance Fund, has been successfully implemented with a $100 million investment. This fund will support up to 10% of a first-generation homebuyer's down payment, and it is projected to benefit 3,000 grantees over the next three years. Housing coalitions have been advocating for this initiative for years, and we’re excited to see it finally enacted.

Homeownership Education, Counseling, and Training Program (HECAT) is a crucial program that has enabled organizations like Twin Cities Habitat to educate and counsel new homebuyers. The program provides financial readiness, pre-purchase consulting, and foreclosure prevention counseling. This legislative session, the program received a one-time increased investment of $2 million to be distributed over the next two years.

The Workforce and Affordable Homeownership Program provides one-time grants for the development of workforce and affordable homeownership projects across Minnesota. The final housing bill passed an investment of $20 million for the next two years and is projected to support the development of more than 670 homes.

The Homeownership Investment Grants Program has received $40 million in one-time funding from the state to be utilized over the next two years. The program aims to increase affordable homeownership through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and nonprofit lenders. This funding will support the development, financing, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable homeownership opportunities.

We extend our sincere gratitude to the advocates, lawmakers, and volunteers who collaborated to ensure the success of Habitat on the Hill and our 2023 legislative priorities. It is imperative to continue the fight to raise awareness and advance affordable housing in Minnesota to ensure that every resident has the opportunity to achieve the stability and foundation of homeownership. We’d love to have you join the fight for affordable housing—we invite you to sign up for periodic emails from our Government Affairs Team. You’ll receive the latest housing advocacy news, and also simple ways you can take action, like sending an email to your legislators.

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