Signed Bills Create Opportunities for Homebuyers

New Laws Encourage First-Time Homebuyers and Advance Homeownership at a Price Minnesotans Can Afford

Governor Mark Dayton signed several pieces of bipartisan housing legislation Tuesday that present common sense solutions to challenges for homebuyers. Included in the signed Tax bill is the creation of a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account that will open the door of homeownership for many. Included in the Jobs and Energy bill was language that provides transparency and fair notice prior to a housing moratorium. Governor Dayton also signed a bill that removes barriers to condominium and townhome development, a key on-ramp to the housing market.

The Minnesota REALTORS® and Housing First Minnesota applaud the work of the legislature to support these priorities, which are a part of the Minnesota Homeownership Initiative.  

“These new laws are an important step in opening the door to homeownership for the next generation of Minnesotans,” said Christopher Galler, Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota REALTORS®. “Homeownership is the backbone of safe neighborhoods, healthy schools, a consistent labor force and strong communities. The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account will ensure that this tradition continues.”

“The entry level home is in short supply, this legislation will help builders create more condominium and townhomes, a key portion of the entry-level housing market,” said David Siegel, Executive Director of Housing First Minnesota. “We appreciate the actions lawmakers took to help address these issues and we look forward to working with the legislature to continue seeking ways to bring greater home affordability to all Minnesotans.”

The Minnesota Homeownership Initiative addresses many of the challenges current and future homeowners face.

First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account: Special Session Chapter 1 (HF1) - The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account  encourages Minnesotans to save for a down payment by providing tax deductions and incentives to help achieve the dream of owning a home.

Common Interest Ownership Modification: Regular Session, Chapter 87 (HF 1538) - A key challenge to a healthy condo/townhome market is the state’s current construction defects law, which has created a disincentive to new condo/townhome development. The new law adds requirements for Homeowners associations including: a preventative maintenance plan must be adopted and implemented, cost effective mediation must take place before legal action, and a majority of homeowner association members must approve the decision to commence legal action. The bill also protects individual homeowner’s rights under Minnesota’s statutory Home Warranty Law.

Housing-Related Interim Ordinance Reform: Regular Session, Chapter 94 (SF 1456) – This new law provides advance notice and a public hearing before a moratorium is imposed that would regulate, restrict, or prohibit activities relating to housing. Prior to its passage there was no due process protecting homeowners and land owners before the use of their properties was frozen by a housing moratorium for up to one year.

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