"On this World Habitat Day, I urge national and local governments, city planners and communities everywhere to keep “Housing at the Center”. Guaranteeing dignity and opportunity for all depends on people having access to affordable and adequate housing."
In a broad sense, this statement from the United Nation's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applies both to the one-quarter of all humans who are living in urban slums or informal settlements around the globe, and the 600,000 Minnesotans who are paying more than they can afford for their housing right now. In both cases, unlocking the full potential of a person is only possible when shelter is solved for. All else suffers (education, health, economic opportunity, happiness) when housing is precarious.
Unfortunately, here in Minnesota, housing-market forces are pushing us in the direction, towards fewer affordable rental units. The Minnesota Housing Partnership has a new report out detailing this trend. Meanwhile, over the past several years, home prices have risen steadily as the incomes for the bottom half of wage earners has remained flat. This is putting the dream of homeownership or affordable rental out of reach for more and more people in our community.
The challenge of housing affordability disproportionately hits lower-income households. For these families, the cost of housing is eating up a much bigger chunk of their paycheck today than 20 years ago—fifty percent bigger. This math leaves families with very little financial cushion for surprises like sickness, an accident, or a car repair. Here in Minnesota, a third of all lower-income renters are spending half their money just on housing each month. This is a recipe for instability.
Every voice matters
Today, on World Habitat Day, help raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, towns and cities. Join with our partners around the world in rededicating ourselves to the basic right of safe, stable, affordable homes for all. Every voice matters as we work together to raise awareness and make change.
Please take the pledge to make housing an election issue! Candidates can be future Housing Heroes that help create the policies and partnerships that are necessary for our community—but they need to hear from you that housing must be a priority.
Sign this pledge to ensure our candidates know that housing is an election issue.
- I PLEDGE to talk to candidates about housing! I know that more than 600,000 Minnesota families pay more than they can afford for housing. I will ask candidates how they plan to ensure that all Minnesotans can access safe, stable, and affordable housing.
- I PLEDGE to share my story with candidates and others about why I believe housing is an important election issue. I know that over 11,600 public school students experienced homelessness last school year in Minnesota. I will tell these stories.
- I PLEDGE to vote! In-person voting started September 23! Visit mnvotes.org to register, find your polling place, get an absentee ballot, or learn more about early in-person voting.