The Sunday March 19 edition of the Grand Forks Herald featured a package of three op-eds by our partners in the Minnesota Rural Equity Project, describing how the project’s legislative priorities can help strengthen the regional economy and reduce disparities in northwestern Minnesota. The op-eds focus on: increased investment in broadband and transportation infrastructure, more help with early childhood and mobility needs that build assets for low-income working families, and tax-and-budget policies that help Greater Minnesota cities provide attractive amenities, re-build their water infrastructure and hold down local property taxes.
A comprehensive new report, “State of the State’s Housing 2017," provides a wealth of fresh detail on affordability and access for each region of the state. The Minnesota Housing Partnership report includes these key findings: more than a fourth of Minnesotans are paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing, thus exceeding the standard for affordability; the home ownership gap between whites and people of color stands at 37 percentage points, wider than the national average in other states by 12 percentage points; and in Greater Minnesota, “major issues include wage stagnation, renter cost burden, and a need for more senior and workforce housing.”
“Where we call home affects the groceries we buy, where we send our kids to school and how we thrive in our community. At every stage of life, where we live is the foundation for our health, education, safety and economic well-being. That’s why housing affordability must be a priority at all levels of government and to all Minnesotans.” — from the introduction to the State of the State’s Housing 2017, published by the Minnesota Housing Partnership. (see above item)