Every year, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity joins affiliates from across the country to advocate for affordable homeownership. This year marked the first time back at our nation’s Capitol since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Turnout was huge—we saw representation from 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico! Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity was proud to have eight staff members in attendance connecting with the six Representatives and two Senators who represent the Minnesota communities we serve.
The federal government is a vital partner in supporting our vision to create an equitable Twin Cities region where all families have access to the transformational power of homeownership. Federal investment is directly related to the amount of funding available on the state and local levels, especially within our county-level partnerships. Building on these resources will be essential to providing more opportunities for Habitat homeownership throughout the country.
Habitat staff meet with Minnesota Representative Angie Craig.
Twin Cities Habitat staff advocated for the federal resources that are utilized in achieving our mission, including HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and AmeriCorps:
HOME and CDBG are resources that are accessed through partnerships with local communities in developing new homes and ensuring housing affordability for Habitat clients. With increasing land and construction costs, as well as stagnating wages, these resources are vital in providing access to homeownership for working-class families.
Twin Cities Habitat is one of many affiliates that rely on AmeriCorps service members to support our work onsite and within the Habitat office to engage volunteers, build and renovate homes, as well as lead in sharing Habitat’s work with communities across the Twin Cities region.
This year we also advocated for a new program to provide Habitat affiliates with an additional tool to make affordable homeownership attainable for families across the country. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) would provide a federal tax credit to build and rehabilitate homes for lower and middle-income families. Twin Cities Habitat could utilize the NHIA to support the financing of new construction or rehab. New solutions like this one are badly needed to contend with skyrocketing housing costs and the affordable housing crisis.
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity staff was excited to advocate for these vital resources and shared their experiences connecting with our region’s federal lawmakers:
Upon reflecting on her visit one of the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Staff members who attended this trip, Erin Ahlstrom, had this to say:
“I think my favorite thing to see in the Congressional offices was that one of them had a welcome mat out, with the word: 'Home' on it, and the silhouette of the state. Just a little homey touch, but something I could think to myself, “Home is important to all Minnesotans. You’re already carrying the banner for our cause, and don’t even realize it yet. We’re already in."