By TOM WIENER
Housing First Minnesota
I had the pleasure of testifying before the legislature a few times this spring and I was struck at how much the housing conversation has changed and continues to evolve.
In the early part of this decade the discussion was predominantly about the housing recovery and its impacts on families and businesses in our industry.
That focus is changing. More than ever, there is an appetite and curiosity from legislators to tackle housing issues at the Capitol. These discussions have produced a much-needed discussion about local impacts to affordability, which we know will be the next major housing policy discussion. Where our industry once strived to convince skeptics about the growing impact of regulatory costs, today there is very little debate about whether or not there is a housing affordability challenge connected to our regulatory structure.
That may seem like a small change, but it’s actually a huge step in the right direction. Now it is time for our industry of homebuilders, remodelers, developers, and suppliers to drive the homeownership and housing affordability debate forward.
At Housing First Minnesota we are working tirelessly to contribute our industry expertise in this growing conversation. We know that we need smart, sensible regulations that protect natural resources and those who live in the homes we build and remodel. But we also know that costs and homeowner affordability must be included in every regulatory discussion. I’m proud that we are housing’s leading voice in this discussion and invite all of you to join the conversation.