Letter From the President

By Tom Wiener, Housing First Minnesota


What an end to the summer! In a period of just a few weeks in August, a landmark Minnesota Supreme Court decision was issued and Governor Dayton’s Task Force on Housing issued its final report. These were big steps forward — both of which will positively impact growing the housing conversation.

In Harstad v. Woodbury, the practice of requiring unauthorized and unrelated conditions development contracts and calling them ‘voluntary agreements’ was struck down by the high court. The court’s clear ruling on this practice is a major victory for homeowners. Development does, must, and will continue to pay its own way by building out infrastructure to support development projects. But the all-too-common practice of requiring additional fees and requirements on top of these has now been ruled illegal. Look for full coverage of the Harstad case throughout this issue.

The other major news is the issuance of the final report from the Governor’s Housing Task Force. Housing First Minnesota was instrumental in advocating for supply and regulatory issues to be included in the report. We were pleased to see the Task Force cite the need for thousands of new homes, regulatory issues to be addressed, and the onus placed on private industry to address this issue.

The debate has now entered a new phase. Our industry of homebuilders, remodelers, and suppliers must lead and drive the homeownership and housing affordability discussion. In addition to our affordability work, we continue to press forward on workforce development to address the labor shortage impacting all of our industry. Across all of these debates, I am so proud of the people and the companies that make up the housing industry.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Housing Industry News, and I wish you all the best as we finish 2018 strong.