Everything starts with home and that is why the Minnesota legislature needs to substantially invest in housing this year. The state of Minnesota has a record surplus and a multitude of priorities that demand more funding. ACER believes that housing should be one of those priorities. We need to invest $2 billion in housing this year and fund Bring it Home, Minnesota rent vouchers.
Minnesota is in a housing crisis. More than 500,000 Minnesotans are paying too much for home. This impacts every county in the state and has led to the rise in homelessness or those at-risk of homelessness. When families are paying too much for home, they are overburdened to afford other basic human needs. This can come in the form of education, food, utilities, and healthcare. We need a solution as big as the problem. It is critical to assist those households who are most affected by the ongoing housing crisis in the state.
Bring it Home, Minnesota, a campaign of more than 30 organizations, is working for that big solution. Rent vouchers are the simple, proven policy that ends housing instability. With a voucher, a family or individual only pays 30% of their income to housing. This would help working families, seniors, and individuals provide and have a semblance of financial stability.
ACER (African Career, Education, & Resource Inc.) is an issue-based community organization that works to empower and uplift the African immigrant communities in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis. Our communities are keenly aware and simultaneously affected by the ongoing housing crisis within the state. This rent support would be a tremendous value to their livelihood.
To fund Bring it Home, Minnesota, we need to invest big this year in housing. Our state has a historic surplus, and ACER is asking Gov. Tim Walz, Speaker Melissa Hortman, and Sen. Kari Dziedzic, all housing champions, to go big on housing this year and invest $2 billion in housing.
Jordan Greene is director of Organizing for ACER.