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Building Community Blog

Guest blog by Greta Gaetz
Local/Regional Policy & Advocacy Coordinator

The 2018 midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 6, and the outcomes greatly impact the work of Habitat. At the federal level, the House of Representatives changed control from a Republican to Democratic majority. House Democrats have offered strong support for protecting our federal funding within the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget, and for AmeriCorps, and this new majority should help Habitat efforts to secure funding increases in the coming years. In addition, this shift will lead to new leadership and committee chairs. The Habitat Advocacy Team will look out for impactful committee assignments and Minnesota representation in committee leadership in January 2019.

Guest blog by Pam Johnson
Policy and Advocacy Manager

You spoke up, and our federal elected officials listened. Thanks to the strong advocacy work of so many Housing Heroes in Minnesota and throughout the nation, our federal funding for Habitat programs received a boost in funding this past fiscal year. These funds are critical to our ability to create more homeownership opportunities for Minnesotans each year, with each public dollar leveraging ten private sector dollars.  Thank you.

Happy World Habitat Day!

Over 30 years ago, the United Nations established the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day. 

According to the U.N., this day is meant for us "to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It also reminds us we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns."

It's a day for reflection and action. It's for us to think globally, and act locally. 

Guest Blog by Caitlin Magistad
Local & Regional Policy Coordinator

Happy National Voter Registration Day! Held on the fourth Tuesday of September starting in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is an opportunity for communities to celebrate our democracy and raise awareness about the importance of voting. Our local, state, and federal elected officials make important decisions that impact our everyday lives—including where we live.

Guest Blog by Pam Johnson
Policy and Advocacy Manager

As Minnesotans educate ourselves about who to vote for on November 6 in the coming weeks, we just learned a lot more from the two top candidates running for the Lieutenant Governor seat at a well-attended September 12 Housing Forum in Duluth.  Candidates Donna Bergstrom (running with Jeff Johnson for Governor) and Peggy Flannagan (running with Tim Walz for Governor) responded to questions proposed from Homes for All Coalition members and a statewide viewing audience via Uptake livestreaming.  Habitat joined other Homes for All partners in using the forum to frame housing as an important economic driver in our state, critical to Minnesota’s future growth and prosperity.  Missed the event?  You can the UpTake livestream recording here.

Guest blog by Pam Johnson
Policy and Advocacy Manager

Minnesotans will head to the polls on November 6 to cast ballots for our next Governor-Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State Auditor. All State House Representatives, and one state Senate special election are also on the ballot, as well as all ten members of our federal Congressional delegation—eight federal Representatives and our two federal Senators. There are numerous local races as well. This is an important election and your vote counts!

Minnesota must get its housing in order. Years of steady cost increases and stagnant wage growth have broken home economics across the state. Today’s families must spend significantly greater percentages of their income just on housing (25% of Minnesotans, and 45% of our renters, are cost-burdened and spending more than 30% of their money on housing). This squeezes budgets and forces painful choices that will have long-term consequences—both for individuals and our entire state.

Guest blog by Caitlin Magistad, Local & Regional Policy Coordinator
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Housing costs continue to increase across Minnesota, while incomes have not kept pace. According to a recent report from the Minnesota Housing Partnership, a full-time minimum wage earner can't afford a one-bedroom apartment in any of Minnesota's 87 counties, and at $18.82, Minnesota ranks #22 in the nation for the highest hourly wages required to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. Low vacancy rates, limited housing stock, and rising housing costs put pressure on low and moderate-income renters and home buyers alike, impacting families and communities across the state. Too many Minnesotans do not have access to safe, stable, affordable housing—together we can change that!

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