Governor’s Task Force Report: More New Housing Needed

The Governor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability released its report titled “More Places to Call Home: Investing in Minnesota’s Future” on Aug. 21. Leading the recommendations included in the report is a call to build 300,000 new homes by 2030, create a regulatory review panel and address the industry- wide labor crisis.

“The Governor’s Task Force on Housing took an important first step in identifying the shortage of new housing production, our need to evaluate regulations, and the construction labor shortage which threatens our ability to solve our housing affordability crisis,” said David Siegel, executive director of Housing First Minnesota. “We are especially pleased with the emphasis to support and strengthen homeownership. “Throughout the Task Force process, Housing First Minnesota advocated for solving our housing supply challenges by increasing affordability across the housing market.

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“We are pleased to see the Task Force embrace the core of this approach, which begins with evaluating regulations and land policies to directly address affordability. “The hard work of addressing the cost drivers impacting housing affordability now enters a new phase. As the leading voice for homebuilding and remodeling, Housing First Minnesota is pleased to see other stakeholders ready to join us in addressing this critical challenge facing all Minnesotans.”

Housing First Minnesota staff attended meetings of the task force and homeownership work group during the first half of the year and sent a letter to the task force in June, saying that addressing Minnesota’s low housing inventory is critical to solving the housing affordability crisis.

New Construction Stormwater Permit Now in Effect

New Construction Stormwater Permit Now in Effect

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released the fnal 2018 Construction Stormwater Permit on July 25. The 2018 Permit, which went into effect on Aug. 1, includes changes requested by Housing First Minnesota.

In May, Housing First Minnesota sent a letter to the MPCA seeking changes to five items, including several provisions that would have expanded enforcement actions under the new Permit, with MPCA making each of the requested changes.

One difference between the earlier draft and the final permit, however, concerns industry experts. In April 2017, Housing First Minnesota requested the repair timeframe be increased, a change that was included in the draft version of the permit released in April 2018. Instead of increasing the repair time frame to “BMPs prior to the next anticipated rain event or within three (3) calendar days whichever comes first” as planned, the MPCA reverted to the existing language of “by the end of the next business day after discovery” in the final 2018 Permit.

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Impact Fees Stuck Down by Supreme Court

Impact Fees Stuck Down by Supreme Court

Harstad v. Woodbury: A Landmark Victory For Housing Affordability, Industry

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that is a major victory for the housing industry and housing affordability. In its much-awaited decision in the Harstad v. Woodbury case, on Aug. 15 the Court upheld 20 years of legal precedent, saying cities have limited authority to tax new housing developments.

In the Court’s ruling, Justice G. Barry Anderson wrote: “Put another way, the pearl of great price here is approval of the subdivision agreement. A developer who fails to make a ‘voluntary’ payment in an amount Woodbury finds acceptable faces the prospect of denial of the subdivision application. The infrastructure charge is thus a requirement and Harstad is correct that there is nothing voluntary about it.”

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Housing First Minnesota PAC Endorses 48 Legislative Candidates

Housing First Minnesota PAC Endorses 48 Legislative Candidates

The Housing First Minnesota’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to endorse a record forty-nine candidates for election and re-election to the Minnesota legislature. Housing First Minnesota’s PAC endorsement reflects each candidate’s commitment to a vibrant housing market that ties together the communities of our great state.

These candidates represent growth in the Housing Caucus, which is comprised of legislative leaders who are committed to our goal of building safe, smart and durable homes at a price that Minnesotans can afford. The Housing First Minnesota PAC endorsement process utilized a candidate questionnaire, analysis of a candidate’s voting record, personal interviews for first-time candidates and proven demonstration for Housing First Minnesota’s policy platform. We look forward to working with these housing champions in the 2019 legislative session.

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Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling A Landmark Victory For Housing Industry

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling A Landmark Victory For Housing Industry

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that a major victory for the housing industry and housing affordability. In its much-awaited decision in the Harstad v. Woodbury case on Wednesday, Aug. 15, the Court upheld 20 years of legal precedent, sayings cities have limited authority to tax new housing developments.

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Housing First Minnesota Honors Legislators

Housing First Minnesota Honors Legislators

28 Receive Housing Leadership Award

Housing First Minnesota, the state’s leading voice for home builders and remodelers, has recognized 28 Minnesota Legislators as recipients of the 2018 Housing Leadership Awards. The award recognizes legislators for their efforts throughout the 2018 legislative session to promote homeownership at a price that families can afford.

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Bringing the Industry Together

Bringing the Industry Together

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.

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Housing Affordability Wins in Building Code Recommendations

Housing Affordability Wins in Building Code Recommendations

Housing First Minnesota Leads Industry to First-Round Victory

Initial review of the Energy Code Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report is good news for Minnesota’s housing industry, as the report did not include adoption of a new, costlier Residential Energy Code.

The Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) released the reports of its TAGs on May 15. The report, which recaps the technical review of model code changes from nearly 50 TAG meetings, gives builders the first glance at possible changes to the state’s building codes.

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Housing First Minnesota Endorses Tim Pawlenty for Governor

Housing First Minnesota Endorses Tim Pawlenty for Governor

Pawlenty stands apart as the leader with experience to drive the housing and homeownership policy discussion in Minnesota

Housing First Minnesota, the state’s leading voice for homebuilding and remodeling, has formally endorsed Tim Pawlenty for Minnesota Governor.

“Tim Pawlenty is an experienced and proven housing leader who knows that the American dream of homeownership is central to the lives of Minnesotans, the communities where they live, and to the fabric of Minnesota’s economy,” said Tom Wiener, president of Housing First Minnesota.

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Housing First Minnesota Leadership Meets with Former Governor Pawlenty

Housing First Minnesota Leadership Meets with Former Governor Pawlenty

He's only been in the race for about one month, but he has had the job before. Governor Tim Pawlenty (R, Eagan) met with Housing First Minnesota leadership on Friday to discuss a variety of housing issues and his campaign to Minnesota's governor once again.

Among the many topics discussed were Minnesota's regulatory environment, the construction workforce shortage, and the role of the Metropolitan Council.

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