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Warren Hanson, president of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and Charlie Warner, Chairman of the Right to Housing Campaign, discuss the state of affordable housing in Minnesota. Topics include shortage of subsidized housing and increasing rents. Hanson and Warner also answer listener questions. During program, Gary Eichten speaks with Congressman Bruce Vento. Program begins with report from MPR’s Laura McCallum on a Bloomington meeting where congressional delegation listened to tenants in danger of losing their housing. Excerpt of Paul Wellstone speaking is highlighted.

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Thank you Gratis 6 minutes now past 12 programming a Minnesota Public Radio is supported by standard heating and air conditioning the Twin Cities Home Comfort Experts for 69 years featuring York Heating and Cooling products. Good afternoon, and welcome back to mid-day on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm very active. I'm glad you could join us tens of thousands of minnesotans are facing a fairly serious problem with rent soaring across the Twin Cities and around the state. It's becoming increasingly difficult for low-income people to find an affordable place to live for years thousands of low-income minnesotans have been receiving help with the rent payments through federally subsidized housing programs. But many of those subsidized rental units won't be available much longer any landlords who built the subsidized units 20 years ago are now free to raise their rent and many of them are taking advantage of that opportunity rents in some cases are going up dramatically tenants are worried and Minnesota housing Advocates are calling on Congress to help. Sorry, I meant they were going to take a closer look at the shortage of the subsidized housing in Minnesota and the broader problem of affordable housing facing even middle middle income minnesotans all to be opening the phone lines. You can join our conversation. First of all, we ever report for Minnesota Public Radio is Laura McCollum on a meeting that was held Monday night in Bloomington about 200 tenants and housing workers packed a Bloomington Auditorium to plead their case has five members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation listened about a dozen tenants told stories of massive rent hikes and fears of having to leave their homes many live in formerly subsidized buildings that owners are converting to market-rate rent Elsa Glick enough a Russian immigrant who lives in Oak Grove Towers in Minneapolis started crying as she told her story. She says most of the 60 Russian families who live in her building are elderly and didn't understand what the owner was doing. Most of us the cave headache and para and pain. About half of all the Russian families out of the building now, we know we hear from those people they live in isolation. The language is awful a renter from Hopkins Betty. Ann Murphy says, her high-rise is slated to lose its HUD financing in November Murphy says the senior citizens single parents and people of color who live their act as a mutual support network by checking on each other you called on Minnesota's Congressional Delegation to protect her building more than you can help us preserve this vibrantly alive microcosm of what's playing in our country. Murphy says when rents go up at her building in November tenants will likely get housing vouchers or certificate, but she called that a Band-Aid fix dependent on landlord Goodwill Murphy and other tenants are asking Congress to put more money into affordable housing and to match the 10. Dollars approved by the 1988 Minnesota Legislature is a congress should require landlords to give tenants a one-year notice before boosting rent the five congressman who attended senator Paul wellstone and Representatives Bill Luther Jim. Ramstad, Martin, Sabo and Bruce vento agree on one year notice is necessary wellstone amended a senate Appropriations Bill to include the one-year requirement, but the house failed to approve it wellstone who received a standing ovation from tenants does Congress is largely ignoring the issue of affordable housing or you're on your own body. And if you should be living in the housing a project housing and all of a sudden find out that the developers decided that there's no longer to get the housing for you and you're going to be out in the cold you're on your own whatever happened to there. But the grace of God go I whatever happened to that. We are our Brother's Keeper whatever happened to a sense of community. No one at the Eating predicted any Swift Solutions Congressman Martin Sabo says, he doesn't expect to see more money for affordable housing this year. But Congress might increase the low income housing tax credit Congressman Jim ramstad, the only Republican lawmaker who attended says the problem requires a bipartisan approach. He says Minnesota is leading the rest of the country because tenants have mobilized to press for Solutions. I'm Laura McCullough, Minnesota Public Radio at the shortage of affordable housing and what might be done about it is Charlie woerner a top official with the right to housing campaign the low income housing. Advocacy group that helped organize. Monday's meeting also with us is Warren Hanson president of the Greater Minnesota housing fund which focuses on affordable housing outside the Twin Cities metro area both men have been working on these issues for more than a quarter of a Century's and then got a good good idea of just exactly what's going on. We invite you to join our conversation. Give us a call or Twin City area number is two two seven. Sounds to 276 thousand outside the Twin City area. 1-800 242-282-8227 6001 800-242-2828. We're talking a shower about affordable housing in the state of Minnesota or more specifically what appears to be the lack of affordable housing, Thanks for coming in today Thanksgiving. Is it fair to say? Mr. Warner seems to me they're essentially two problems here to two issues one. Is this the conversion of the subsidized housing units which we want to talk about. Then there's the broader issue subsidized housing or know that there are a whole lot of people who can't afford the rents are being charged these days is that a pretty accurate assessment of what's going on? I think it is. The conversion of these federally assisted buildings to market-rate housing is occurring in a context of a really tight rental housing market unlike anything I've seen in my car. Are in the housing we right now in the metropolitan area have a vacancy rate of 1.3% now housing Economist call a 5% vacancy rate a healthy rental market. So we've got a very unhealthy rental market where there is essentially no vacancies, especially at lower rent apartments, which is the exact kind of housing that people that would be displaced from these converted projects would need and given that there is this very tight housing market and the fact that many landlords are not willing to rent to people with these vouchers that are being offered to tenants that would be displaced from these converted complexes. It's creating a great great problem for those folks and at the meeting in Bloomington on Monday a person after person testifying talked about the fear and the anxiety that was that is a lot of my These people facing the uncertain future of having to leave their home of maybe 20 or 25 years duration. It's a real real serious problem or enhancing problem state-wide now or just in the Twin City metro area know it's a very big problem Statewide. I think that the situation that Charlie talks about in the metro area with a subsidized federally subsidized housing is happening in Greater Minnesota tappening maybe to a lesser degree there, but we have another situation in Greater Minnesota which exacerbates the need which is ironic lead tremendous job growth household growth. I think in the last 12 months in Minnesota, we've created about 53,000 new jobs, and that's adding to the housing demand. So we've got job growth we have this threat ironically at a time when we have a booming economy National economy in a specially good one in Minnesota. We have a situation where The most vulnerable frail elderly disabled and low-income families might lose their federally subsidized housing which is a giant step backwards in a booming economy. You think that the the the tide raises All Ships and those people would be given a helping hand or at least left, you know to be in there in a stable home and and to maintain themselves has there ever been a time when we've had enough housing relatively cheap housing for people in Minnesota or is this just a little worse than it usually is Well, I know certainly we have never had a vacancy rate as low as we have now at least in my experience and I think that probably during the 1980s the housing market was was a much softer rental market than it is. Now people did have choices and places to go. There were fewer households to begin with and there was there was a more available stock of of of housing at the Lowrance, but with the tightening of the market with rent increasing that's simply a thing of the past. So it has been better at times in Greater Minnesota, you know, if you think back to the 1980s we had kind of a farm crisis an egg crisis. A lot of people were leaving rural communities to come to the metro area or maybe even leave the state and go to the one one of the coaster where were the jobs were and ever since the early 1990s round 91 92 with had this boom. Put in a lot of entrepreneurial Economic Development activity in Greater, Minnesota and Charlie mentioned very low vacancy rate in the metro in Greater, Minnesota. If hovers right around 2 % it's just about the same as it is in the metro area and many many communities just don't have any vacancies. So it is I took it's a crisis. We have a crisis right now in housing and it it's affecting this population that are living in the subsidized housing and it's actually affecting are you cannot make Development in Minnesota if these people who are looking for places to live if they had more money would we still have a problem? It sounds like we would that we don't even have enough places to put everybody. Well, that's a that's a good point. The family housing Frontier in the Twin Cities has done some and a number of other groups have done some assessment of the need for housing based on people's ability to pay and there's there's something like eighty Thousand households have very low income that are paying a whole lot more than that then half of their income for rent. And there's only about 31,000 housing units that are affordable to people in that income range right there. They're so huge mismatch between what people need and what their what the marketplace is able to provide one point. I think we're really important to me again in this applies to Greater Minnesota as well as in the metropolitan area that this federally assisted housing you and often in smaller towns and Rural in Minnesota is the only affordable housing in that in that community and if that building converts to market-rate housing there there left for with virtually nothing and in the in the situation in the metropolitan area many of these projects where the owners are tending to convert to market-rate are in Suburban locations. There are places where there is very little other low. Low income housing very little other integrated housing for that matter. So when this housing is lost in the suburbs that not only did eliminates that opportunity for people seeking jobs that are being created in the suburbs a place to live near those jobs, but it also deprives our community of a Housing Resource. That is a Fair Housing Resource that is located in places where we have seen him in the recent history is very very difficult to get communities to accept new housing for lower-income people. These complexes are already there. They're providing really good housing for a lot of people and if they are eliminated we're taking a huge step backward in our fair housing efforts as well joining us now by phone is Minnesota 4th District Congressman Bruce vento, Captain Congressman. Sounds like there is a significant problem here. What's Congress going to do about it? Well, unfortunately for the last Chance of housing measure Clinton has really been denied the tools. He's recommended various changes and members of Congress such as myself have been trying to work on it. But especially when does new Congress I think that there has been a stat tendency to shrink back from this. I mean the basic problem here is that whether we're talking about homeownership, which of course is gone up somewhat and especially is especially important, but I think you talked about the mismatch between incomes and sort of this instant growth of jobs and some areas and even in places like Fargo or receipt of people that had built homes before can't afford to rebuild after a flood in there, you know, the concern there is that you're losing population other than having tax incentives and other measures to try and counteract that but you know in the end, you know, if you don't have the wages are we tried to qualify people with the by sending them to school or teaching them how to own a home in that then qualitatively improve their ability to form, but in terms of Congress Congress has Basically backing away from the the federal housing commitment are they've gotten so far is to try and repeal the basic law that the tried to assure that was passed in the 1940s to try to assure people of decent sanitary affordable housing as a sort of a scalp on their belt attitude with regards to a new dealer program and some of the problem has been you know, not only it's both with regards to public housing trying to set that back down as block grants and local communities were before we've maintained the commitment to public housing federally public housing and with regards to assisted housing. They failed to make the long-term commitment and owner that has an option after 15 20 or 25 years to convert what has been assisted housing supported by the federal government is faced with the with the prospect of a one-year commitment. And I very often they that is enough of a commitment especially if they're located in an area where they think the private Market will sustain a a good return on their investment some of the nonprofits and charitable groups. Of course, you're not going to look just at the bottom line that they looking at public service but investors after all are going to look to their profit and if Congress won't make the commitment federal government won't make anything more than a one-year commitment then then and maybe another instances where there's a longer commitment. They might still choose to exercise the option under their contract to not continue to serve a moderate low income persons in that assisted housing. It's a we were at risk here in Minnesota Nationwide of losing some of the stock of the best assisted and public housing that we have. Not to overdramatize this but I mean it at some point there are going to be people who can't get any attempt to find a place to live what's supposed to be done in place of programs dealing with the homeless and I we've got this income disparity this going on or Society. Everyone says in the average, it's all right, you know people's income of the average is increased but don't people don't live on the average as indicated by Charlie there. He's pointed out you got nearly 70,000 people with less than $10,000 income and only about 10 and only about 30,000 units for 70,000 families. Don't fit in 30,000 units in the metropolitan area of Minnesota. And so the problem is that they're going to have to pay a lot more of their income. End of sometimes that breaks so that is that they can't make it and they end up then Assistance or some other way. So we've got the crisis going on and housing. The vacancy rate is going down especially overall in Minnesota. There may be some spots where you still find some vacancies and of course, it's there hasn't been enough investment in multi-family housing apartment buildings. And so were the four people that can't afford at this not a good investment today and are we try to change that with some tax credits? But even though so don't assure that you'll have it back. That's one of the major complaint to the tax credit to help fill love has permitted higher rent. So you've got you know, the public house. He got the assisted housing. You've got the tax credit housing we're government has a system with bonds. For instance. The state has we give them the authority to do that and the real problem is the dollar problem in terms of people's income for those that are not making good incomes, but I think it be helped. Congress has to recognize this as I said earlier this week. It's got his priorities all screwed up providing people with decent affordable housing should be something that we do we're doing all right in terms the ownership, but we're not doing all right, when it comes to the disable to older Americans and to those that are very low incomes. You see this situation changing and Washington anytime soon make that the the obviously and unfortunately, I think it's an expensive problem and there are a lot of other things that the top of the agenda before before affordable housing. I don't think that the message has gotten through to my colleagues because this year alone and in the past year, they've taken eight billion dollars out of housing for other programs necessary programs and they have disaster problems that have occurred in our states and others. They've taken eight billion dollars out of housing. And they haven't said they haven't fully replace that money and they're not willing to make the long-term commitment. In fact, what's happening in the actions were taking it in Washington on renewal of of the Section 8 housing. It means if we don't even do it for one year and so it's like a snowball it's building up momentum. It's getting more and more expensive each year to just do the one-year commitment and they say what they're using this the momentum in this crisis has a basis to renege basically on on assisted and public housing and to let this devolve and a block grant to the local communities in the state. Maybe the state and local communities can and should be expected to do more but the fact is that in the process of doing this we may lose a mean one of the things I'm trying to do is preserve the existing low income housing that we have recognizing how expensive it is to build new public housing to preserve what we have should be our top priority rather than to another word said when you're in a hole and you want to get out you can't I quit. But we have to do is quit. We have to prevent the loss of affordable housing low-income housing that means public housing that means assisted housing. That means other types of of house. Thank you. Congressman has Minnesota 4th District Congressman Bruce vento joining us here in the studio. Again, Charlie woerner who is with the right to housing campaign income housing advocacy group and Warren Hanson president of the Greater Minnesota housing fund lots of callers on the line with questions about the affordable housing situation here in the state of Minnesota. If you'd like to join them again or Twin City area number is 227-6002 276 thousand outside the Twin City area one 800-242-2828 and gentlemen, before we get to our first caller up one quick question for you. It seems to me that if there is such a shortage of these buildings and such a demand. Somebody to step forward and put up some buildings. Haha in the man what's going on? Well, since God knows when the big problem with affordable housing has been that there is always an affordability Gap and often times are has a value County in the in the cost of the housing in other words to build a single-family house or an apartment will cost anywhere from 75 to $150,000 to put a mortgage on the Weather Channel partment or or single-family home and rent it out or just pay a monthly mortgage cost is going to cost you to close to $1,000 a month. If you're making five six seven eight dollars now or even $10 an hour. You cannot afford that ran for that mortgage and that's the big problem is there needs to be some sort of Gab some sort of subsidy put in there to bring the cost of those units down to where people can afford you to the rent or the mortgage tell the developers can't really afford to build ease and then make them available at anything close to the cost at The renter wood would be able to pay that's right. And I mean even in the with existing older properties in the inner city, if somebody is going to buy those and try to run them as a low-rent housing, they are facing the same kind of cost problems that Warren talked about. I mean, you have to pay a mortgage you have to pay management insurance on the building maintenance and all that kind of thing and it adds up to more than low income people can pay supply and demand works when you have effective demand effective demand means you've got the money in your hand be able to pay the pay the price and most low-income people, especially what you know, if you're talkin about $8 an hour jobs, you translate that into what so what does that person can afford it is not anything near what the rents are in the marketplace the government defines affordable housing is costing no more than 30% of your income. It's not supposed to cost exactly that much. But if it's if it cost more than 30% of your income, it's not affordable. Housing cost the government talked about their includes rent and utilities. So when the when the average apartment is renting now in the metropolitan area for a $636 the Star Tribune publishes this every week $636 you need something on the order of the 12 13 14 dollar an hour job to be able to make that meets the 30% of for debility test. If your if your income is an $8 an hour job, you can't afford even even half of what it what the average rent in the marketplace is there's a big gap there lots of colors on the line again, if you'd like to join them to 276 thousand or one 800-242-2828 were talking this hour about affordable housing or the lack of it in Minnesota may go ahead place. Buildings and I blame the city the city if you drive through with the low-income neighborhoods in the inner-city Minneapolis, if you're going to see a building after building torn down or boarded many of those properties were decent affordable housing for low-income with not a whole lot of pics of cost and yet at the city looks at it and it doesn't have a basement and they want to rehab it up to current standards. The people who own it can't afford to do that for the city eventually condemned is it I mean, there's a lot of low income housing that has gone down the tubes that way Pretty pretty common complaint. Well, it's interesting. There's a kind of a startling number that that we've discovered in that is that every year in the state of Minnesota. We lose 2000 units of housing to demolition. No, we're already it's and housing like with everything else. It becomes very clear when you when you think about that number that if we're not moving ahead. We're moving backwards housing stock ages housing stock deteriorates. I I think the collars write that in many communities that they're overly aggressive about taking down housing units and not providing the the incentives or the wherewithal to help rehab and in maintain them. But yeah, we're moving we're moving backwards unless we're moving forwards. Should we should we loosen standards a little bit so that, you know, the marginal house isn't destroyed. The marginal apartment is kept open and I saw at least people have a marginal place to live in Well, I don't I mean I think of that may brings up a really good point about the kind of the public attitude of public officials a attitude towards low-cost housing. I mean, there is a real kind of anti anti low-income attitude that prevails a lot in with a lot of public policy makers at the at the local level in at the state level and he at the national level as well that there could be some relaxing of this but you don't want to consign poor people to krumme housing just because they're poor people in and that that really isn't the answer but we're in a pretty desperate situation and every time the city tear does tear down a unit they're out there ought to be a thought given to wear those people going to go the city of Brooklyn Park for example is talking about to getting rid of 300 / 300 units of very affordable housing simply because they are Judgment, is that that housing is a problem. Well that housing is was poorly managed. It's now better manage. It's not a problem, but they're blaming the housing the city of St. Paul is set a goal of 70% home ownership and the city right now is about half renters. Well, how are they going to make all those people into homeowners overnight? I mean, I think that's that's just a kind of expressing an attitude that that well poor people are renters and renter or poor people have a lot of problems and crime comes from there. So let's knock down that housing. It's just a real but I don't think it's a very enlightened attitude towards it and it's as Warren pointed out steadily loss of this housing at the low end of the market is part of what's creating the real crisis for an what is it true that property values go down when lower-income buildings are put up in a neighborhood. Is it true that crime rates go up when? Poor people move into a neighborhood. I think the simple answer is no in fact on an in terms of the value is the values can be easily go up when when affordable housing is built in a neighborhood. There's many in fact affordable housing development is sometimes used as a community revitalization tool that's used to reinvest in the insta me late investment stimulate fixing up and fix stimulate improvements in a in a whole neighborhood and and often times that is kicked off with the creation of affordable housing and and Rehabilitation grants in Sulphur things that will preserve existing housing stock and build new housing. And as far as crime, we see this perception in Minnesota to there are communities that have decided that they don't want the Immigrant population because they're different orders because it's a different culture where they perceive a crime issue and I think it all boils down to management. Rental housing is a day-to-day. It's of you've got to stay on top of it and definitely you don't want. any kind of anti-social behaviour in any of your housing and it really boils down to good management and and That if that's in place, then you don't have those problems are there much minimized Lawrence Huron, please? And it doesn't include people who are handicapped turn or can't take care of themselves. But in lifting to this issue on both sides, one of the things that I hear is the people have a right to fair housing and if the government responsibility give them that and I take issue with that again, excluding people can't take care of themselves, but agree with the influx of immigrants from countries that are socialist the nature are we running the risk of a building a social systems for social Society if everybody feels as though it's the government's responsibility to take care. I'm going to hang up and listen to respond. Alright. Thanks for your coming. Well laurenzside, I think that the point is that the marketplace simply cannot provide housing for people that are earning low wages. The number simply don't work out the cost of producing and managing the housing are more than low income people can pay low income people does include other than others than seniors that are on Social Security and feet people that are disabled and are on some kind of a of a disability income. What do you do about people that are only able to earn $8 an hour and the apartments are $20 an hour apartments and we don't have anything at the low end. Are you willing to consign those people to a simply a life without an adequate place to live? I don't think our society. I'm certainly not prepared to make that the concession and I would hope that the rest of us in our society would have a little more compassion than to say as Wellstone with pointed out and in that sound clip for Monday tough luck. If you can't if you don't have a $20 an hour job and there's and there is no housing available for you talk like well, I don't think that's a really good. So it's societal answer and whether that, you know, I just saw I just think that were a better place than than that. Let me let me ask this when we talked about adequate housing are we talkin about a relatively nice place to live or a pretty Spartan deal kind of like the old basement apartments that populated they are that we saw after World War II we expect people to double up couple of people to live together to afford a place to live what are expectations in terms of the quality of the housing were talking about and and the kind of living arrangements. We expect from people maybe one standard to use would be what HUD will the minimum property standards that how do you When they decide whether or not they'll let a tenant use their subsidy their Section 8 subsidy in the rental market. Does the standards are not all that rigorous. It has to have running water it. Can I have the weather coming in? It has to be able to be secure to adequately it should be free of vermin and you know rodents in that kind of thing, but it it certainly doesn't have the Indiana what has to have it meet local codes which would require a no electricity in each room in that kind of thing. But there are no requirements are very very minimal. They really are Cassandra you're coming please broadcast. And unfortunately, I am exactly in this situation. I have looked into section 42 housing and Section 8 Housing and I live in out State Minnesota to Princeton Milaca area and I'm a single mother of three who can afford an apartment I can afford. Local went but because I am a student a full-time student at Augsburg College. I am not allowed to rent in section 42 housing. And that seems to be the majority in our area is the section 42 housing. I don't understand how the IRS is involved in the housing market. But whenever I questioned this section 42 availability, they keep showing me back to the IRS. I have three children and right now I'm living in a two-bedroom house trailer with my mom and dad and I have no Avenue none to turn to when they retire and move out of their house next fall and I don't know you know that you talked about affordable or unaffordable housing. There is no rental property. I work in Elk River and like I said, I go to school Minneapolis, but in Elk River and Points North and the northwest suburbs is all the whole area. I've been looking as well as Minneapolis There is no rental property an ion outstate Minnesota. First of all in one sentence. Can you describe four people what is section 42 housing or whatever it is. Charlie I think that's housing that has been assisted with what are called low income housing tax credits, which is a device that is supervised by the Internal Revenue Service and it allows investors to put money into qualifying projects that meet their their definition of low-income. And then they get tax credits as a result of their investment Federal program designed to encourage people to put up a lower-income, but it isn't a housing program. It's a tax program. It's a source of equity Capital going into a low cost housing in this day and age, but the There Are Rules as as Cassandra pointed out that in order to be eligible for to qualify for these tax credits. So singing its can't be rented apparently to two students that are even though their incomes are low. There is apparently IRS regulations against that Warren Hanson, the first of all is Cassandra situation pretty common and number to what in the world is what what what could she do about a situation like this? I think that that she is one of the people that falls through the cracks because of a an odd requirement that you would think that it would the code and the rules for the low-income housing tax credit program would encourage people to better themselves be on the track to to employment and so forth, but it doesn't I think that the solution long term for people like us Andhra would be that the communities of Princeton and Cambridge in Milaca and Elk River and so forth would be more proactive at creating affordable housing and in partnering with organizations like ours in the state to do that. And I know that there are efforts in those communities to create affordable housing, but they're also in those communities where Cassandra lives is incredible job growth. I think the vacancy rate over there is below 1% and and their end and oddly enough. There is a majority of single-family homes and Bows are older and not in great condition. So she's in one area of the state that is not easy to find apartments do businesses. Are they sufficiently concerned about this problem where they're becoming more active and terms of actually put Buildings and getting people into buildings. That's one thing that we've been trying to encourage and affect the family housing fund and greater Minnesota housing fund have been pushing very hard at that and we're beginning to see employers willing to come to the table with cash or with land or with down payment assistance. You've got to read the newspaper in the last couple of weeks Honeywell and Northwest Northwestern Hospital in Twin Cities are involved. We just did a a project on in Winnebago where the employer bought the land built the housing and is going to Owned and operated and lease it to anybody in the community and I think in a hot economy where there's low unemployment low vacancy rate and in and companies can't find employees. They can't find labor or the people that do work for them are driving 50 60 70 miles each way. We're going to see more employers right get involved in that in that in the near future extra dollars from Fairmont. Alright, thanks for taking the call. Just it seems like there's a lot of structural things and in the way Minnesota runs that cause problems in my specific instance first house. I bought was a duplex and it was great with the other half making the payment get married have a family need to move out for some more space keep the duplex and it's the property you still housing to separate families, but my tax is almost triple with the the difference between the 9 Homestead in the homestead braids in the city as I get into it also seems like the Assessor's for the market valuation are much more sympathetic to homeowners appeals of of market value issues than than landlord issues. And if you don't we have some in Fairmont, we have some people who are complaining about landlords and things like that, but when you look at the cash flow on a property the taxes you get to pay The Phillies doing any work on Street assessment pretty soon. You don't have a lot of cash flow to do anything. And I you know that I realize that the state legislature has done some things with the non-homestead credit line at homestead tax rates, but that was as my understanding the bigger brakes were given to the bigger bigger units multi-unit deals. And if so, Smaller landlords that seemed to them to really struggle with this and I don't know what the pop what the percentage out state of rental units are that are single family or duplex compared to the multi-unit buildings, but I'd be interested in your comments on that and I'm wondering if there are a couple of easy things are relatively easy things that the state could do. We were talking earlier about the federal government state could do to make it more attractive for people to actually I have an own and rent out properties at a relatively low rate. The Minnesota Legislature has taken some steps to to deal with the real disparity between rental and homesteaded property taxes and their party might want to check with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and ask them about the 4D property tax program, which allows a rental owner to get property taxes as low as the very low Best home ownership rate the very bottom rate of Taxation for housing that meet certain Renton, and quality standards that are not that difficult to me. He could get his property qualified under the 4D program and have a substantial property tax savings and that we are hoping will be one way to provide maintenance more perhaps more maintenance better maintenance for older properties in might even and do some new construction through the the the much lower property taxes. That would be passed through out to the operations of the project. Bob your comment place. Ramadan Habitat for Humanity in why don't think why don't they expand the Habitat for Humanity programs and give people no interest loans. I can't afford these homes so that they're working for their down payment. Then they have a no-interest loan for 15 years, which would get people in the $78 an hour jobs into a home that they can afford and it would also give them a sense of ownership and pride in their area because we are collard says crime doesn't go up and he's housing project. I truly believe he's wrong. And if I'm in the neighborhood, I'm working 60 hours a week to afford my home in the area that I live in and my wife working full-time in apartment area. I don't want to see a project going across the street. I'm all these people that aren't working and it gets pissed if they were to put Habitat for Humanity across the street that be great because those people are taking an initiative to better their own lives. Okay Habitat for Humanity is a great program every year they build about a hundred units of housing Statewide, of course the big resource. Habitat for Humanity relies on his volunteer labor. And really that is the where the crunch comes in. There are only so many people and so many chapters of Habitat for Humanity and and in their beer at their maximum capacity. I think that the more communities again that would band together and the churches and Civic leaders and so forth in in small cities around the state or neighborhoods, even that would form Habitat for Humanity chapters and get in contact with habitat Minnesota the better you can get a home built with habitat labor and Community labor for $50,000 and you finance at 0% interest of the people that Charlie and I are talking about people that are making $7 an hour can suddenly afford to be a homeowner. And so it's really a phenomenal opportunity for a very low-income family Marsha. If either the speakers have comments, it feels like in the central City's that we have more responsibility to take care of affordable housing issues, especially with the federal programs decreasing but that means for us that goes on our local property taxes at the same time as in the central City's we have a disproportionate share of affordable housing for the region. What advice would you give like the city government to make effective and compassionate policy, but still one that helps us decrease our proportion of responsibility over time Charlie Warren. Well, there are a number of initiatives that are being the one is that the right to housing campaign has been exploring this last year is a notion that goes under the kind of jargon of inclusionary zoning which would be a situation where to buy when new development occurs. No matter where it is either in the state of Minnesota in the in the metropolitan region, depending exactly how you construct this kind of a program that anytime there is new construction of development of a certain size. So many of the units are in a certain percentage of the units in that complex must be affordable two people of Lauren comes now getting all the parties that have a vested interest in in new developments local government County government and Metropolitan government as well and state governments getting everybody to agree on exactly how they gets done is a bit of a sticking point, but if it was the case that They was a Level Playing Field no matter where you were developing whether it was in Minneapolis or st. Paul or 4 was out in the outer outer ring suburbs that if you were going to be producing new housing some of it had to be affordable in that way the housing with blind and you wouldn't know if that this person was low income or that were not because the housing would all be the same but some of the units in the in the complex would be of affordable to lower-income people that we could make some steps towards equalizing the responsibilities that different parts of our region take for providing this kind of housing, but it is a really difficult problem many localities are not interested in seeing it but I think it could get at with the I think it was Bob was talking about his working 80 hours a week and his wife working full-time and they don't want to see a project going in where people aren't putting up that kind of effort tubes over there. Housing if the if it wasn't a project of all low-income people if only 10% of the units or a certain percentage were a low income units. He wouldn't be able to tell the one from the other and it might it might minimize some of the objections that people like Bob might have to this kind of new development Leon You're Next In the City of Minneapolis all my life and 5756 and I've worked in my real estate for over 25 years full time. And I most wholeheartedly agree that the government should be held responsible to provide for the care of poor elderly children mentally and physically handicapped and not the last resort. But I think also that the issue of rehabbing and do construction and this city and probably in most cities could be better. If the government like hard and local public agencies begin to hire low-income people teach them the skills employ them to rehab in the construct housing and stop going out and hire these contractors as absorbent wages to build fewer and fewer and Rehab to ensure a property. I think that's a major issue with that the cost of housing that make sense to you by Warren Hanson sure. It's a great idea. What about the people in the housing construction trade at though I would imagine at 8 about you a little unhappy with that the rub is that what you know, if there's a time when that would work more of that would work. It's probably now because we have a labor shortage and getting more people into the workforce and training them and using that as a means of training a people for that kind. At work and career would be a good way to go. There have been organizations in the Twin Cities and around the state that that work with that kind of program of theirs Department of Corrections program called sentence to serve and it it is building houses than they plan to build about 20 homes a year in the next couple of years using that method know they'll train people the original development commissions and project for Pride living in the Twin Cities here and other organizations have done that on a small scale. It hasn't been mobilized. We don't have anything like the WPA at these days and I think that would be difficult to get it going on a large systemic basis, but more of that would be good. Next caller is a state representative Jim Rhodes from St. Louis Park crawling in sir. Thank you and nice to hear that people are concerned about it cuz it really is a problem. I want to mention it's the problem out State Minnesota as much as in the metro area. There's a lot of companies that just take a people to come out to work for me. If no places for them to live. What are the things that I think is exciting that we have to really work on his the first time home buyers is when people can have a chance to do to get into a home. I weather be a condominium or home to be staying home or whatever where they can stay there build up some Equity take pride in in their facilities and the children and the same neighborhood same schools rather than moving from apartment to apartment. I think the stability issue is a great one. And I think that's one of the stress that we need to really look at Leschi next year with making the first time home buyer available to a lot more people serving in the legislature. Do you get the sense that your fellow legislators are willing to spend lots of money on this problem. Are you willing to spend lots of money on it? I think it's it's I think it's an investment as much as his Penny. You can use any kind of where do you want to the reason I say that is because when people are much more stable education system prosperous takes less money for problems. They're the safety in the neighborhood everything changes and I think it's the so I think it is a good thing down the line to do but I do support that I think it's it's it's another vehicle to get folks to choose to live in homes that I and I think that's that's what it's all about and the first Home buyer could be somebody from a young person 23 24 years old at single to family that never had the opportunity to own a home and I think it also plays out in the rural areas as well. Quit in a positive sense right before he runs her cuz we're just about out of this problem and again short term that is to say next spring. Do you think that the legislature is going to appropriate a lot more money for affordable housing programs? Like the one you're talking about? All the other ones that we've been talking about the next month or so, but I think it's it's it's going to be an important issue that's very worthy of discussion and I can't speak for the others. But I I think we're going to have to really look at this even Last year in the governor's the address to the legislature. He brought up the housing issue. I think it's a real issue out there that we have. No. I really appreciate your help. Thanks. I appreciate you. Thanks for calling. We don't have a lot of time left. But Charlie Warner Warren Hansen. We have raised a problem here that shower a lot of gloom and doom and their people apparently who are on the verge of losing a place to live lot of other people longer-term can't find a short-term now short-term any anything that can be done here to alleviate the immediate crisis forget about the big picture here media crisis in terms of what we started talking about. This loss of this federally assisted housing. We've simply Got The Preserve at we've got to keep it. We got to keep it from being lost as a as Community resource the state legislature took a with Jim Rosa's support and others was totally bipartisan effort. There was not one single no vote to an appropriation of 10 million dollars to our state Housing Finance Agency to develop programs to preserve this housing. We're really fortunate in the state of Minnesota that are State Housing Finance Agency is a real first-class shop. They really are experts and they really care about this stuff. So we've got that going for us in the legislature that did show last year without a single no vote a real commitment to preserve his housing. Now, we're working with congressman vento and conversing to Randstad and others in the in the house in the Senate with get a center 12th. Don't try to develop some preservation tools at the federal level is well-worn handsome anything that can be done quickly about this. Well, I think that the state legislature probably needs to invest more money in the preservation issue in this upcoming session like Charlie said there's about 3,000 units that are currently at risk and probably sixty thousand units that are out there that are involved in in some some sort of federal subsidy. So if we can't hold the line on preserving housing, we have no chance of keeping our economy our state economy strong because we're going to be going backwards and it will hurt Economic Development not to mention that the individuals that the frail and the elderly and the young families that are living there, Thanks for coming in today. Appreciate it. I think you are worn Hanson president of the Greater Minnesota housing fund and Charlie Warner was with the run right to housing campaign and I would sure like to appreciate it. Thank you. All of you been listening. This our thanks for trying to call and we'll be rebroadcasting this program at 9 tonight. By the way, in case you missed part of the program and would like to Simply simply like to hear it again rebroadcast at 9 tonight here on Minnesota Public Radio. That's it for midday today. I can hear thanks for tuning in tomorrow among other things our conversation with state senator, Doug Johnson. listen all this week as Minnesota Public Radio news focuses on the issue of welfare and how it's being discussed in the race for the governor's office explore the issues on Minnesota Public Radio k n o w FM 91.1 you're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. We have a partly cloudy Sky 75° at Cana W FM 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul should be sunny for the most part all afternoon with Aniya right around 80 degrees partly cloudy tonight with a low in the mid-60s and then partly cloudy again tomorrow with a high back into the middle 80s hits 1


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