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Building Community Blog

It was halfway through our Habitat advocacy day in D.C., and we were really starting to feel the five miles of walking. Our group of eight Minnesotans had split up to meet with our Representatives in Congress, but we were now back together in the offices of Minnesota Senator Tina Smith. She would be joining us in a minute, but for now we were gathered around a conference table, talking with her staffer, Adam Schiff, who focused on housing issues.

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.

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