State officials have announced this year’s grants to preserve or build 18-hundred units of affordable housing in 60 developments across Minnesota — 126 million dollars they say will leverage 350 million dollars in private and local funding. But Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal says Minnesota has also lost some units of affordable housing that never had the requirement that they be affordable. She points to “some big projects in the Twin Cities area particularly, where investors have come in and bought fairly modest apartment buildings, put a lot of investment into them, and then those rents are raised by quite a bit.” Tingerthal says economic growth ironically has increased the housing crisis because people’s income isn’t going up as fast as rents in particular.
Tingerthal expects affordable housing will be a high priority included in Governor Mark Dayton’s bonding proposal for 2018. “This year we did get an allocation of 45 million in new bonding authority for housing and we are hoping that that number will be even bigger next year,” she says.
Much more in this interview with MNN’s Bill Werner: