2024 Legislative Update

Author
Posted on

May 21, 2024

Categories

2024 Legislative Update

By: Kari Johnson & Kelly Law

The Minnesota state legislature wrapped up its work by 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 19, 2024. It will be remembered as one of the most chaotic endings to a legislative session in Minnesota history. You can read about the details on MPR.

Generally, during the even-numbered years of the two-year biennium, the legislature focuses on passing policy provisions, supplemental budget items, and capital investment for public infrastructure projects. MCCD’s legislative agenda was heavily focused on economic development policy, but we were also seeking substantial ongoing investments in affordable housing. Read more about what passed and what didn’t.

Economic Development 

Economic Development Final Bill Language  

The Economic Development and Jobs Committees received a small $1 million budget target, but there have been some changes and cancellations of funding allocated in 2023 that are resulting in roughly $5 million in additional funding expenditures going to fund some direct appropriations for mostly workforce organizations. MCCD’s policy items focused on our DEED Programs Review working group are in both the House and Senate Omnibus Bills.  

Policy Changes that passed and will impact the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program, Expanding Opportunity Growth Fund, Community Wealth Building Pilot Program, and the Small Business Assistance Partnership Program. We will be working with DEED over the summer and fall to ensure that these changes take effect as soon as possible. We expect to ask for funding increases for these programs during the 2025 legislative session.  

  • Fee-based lending addition for the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program (ELP), Expanding Opportunity Growth Fund, and the Community Wealth Building Pilot.
  • 10% interest rate cap for the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program (ELP), Expanding Opportunity Growth Fund, and the Community Wealth Building Pilot.
  • Eligibility clarification that tribal economic development entities and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are eligible to access these programs.
  • Streamline the underwriting process for the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program by removing duplicative underwriting for certain partner organizations.
  • Free technical assistance policy change will adjust the Small Business Partnership Program so that the grant can only be used to provide free technical assistance.
  • Incorporate automatic loan forgiveness for borrowers in good standing for the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program (10%) and the Community Wealth Building Pilot (15%). 
  • 15% admin allowance for grantees of the Small Business Assistance Partnership Technical Assistance Program. 
  • 1% loan closing fee from DEED to help support administrative costs associated with loan closing and servicing for the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program and the Expanding Opportunity Growth Fund. 

 

Affordable Housing

Housing Final Funding Spreadsheet  

Following last session’s remarkable $1.5 billion investment in housing, housing had a much smaller budget target of only $10 million this session. Below, you will find some of the housing provisions that MCCD worked on or supported.  

Housing Infrastructure Bonds –  $50 million  
  • MCCD led efforts to secure new resources in Housing Infrastructure Bonds. This new investment will help ensure that new development of critically needed affordable housing can continue, while also working to ensure that we preserve our existing affordable housing.  
  • Expanded eligible uses in HIBs to include, for the first time, the development of cooperatively owned affordable housing.  
  • MCCD advocated for $500 million in HIBs this session, and we are disappointed that the allocation did not match the very clear need. We will continue to fight for additional investments in HIBs and other housing programs going forward until every Minnesotan has access to a safe and affordable home.  
Housing Affordability Preservation Investment Program – $50 million  
  • This vital new program will support the recapitalization of distressed affordable housing properties, preserving state-funded affordable housing assets and ensuring that families currently stably housed can remain in their homes. 
Emergency Rental Assistance – $8.1 million  
  • The Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program will receive $8.1 million for the biennium.  
  • These crucial dollars will ensure that Minnesota families remain stable in their housing and will decrease the number of evictions that Minnesota families face.    
Task Force on Long-Term Sustainability of Affordable Housing   
  • This task force will bring together experts from across the sector to study the financial health and stability of affordable housing providers and to provide recommendations to the Minnesota legislature to promote long-term sustainability to prevent the loss of affordable units and promote housing security for renters.   
  • MCCD was named as an appointee for the task force and will appoint two members with experience operating affordable rental housing.  
Metro Sales and Use Tax for Housing  
  • MCCD supported efforts to clarify in statute that funds from the new Metro Sales and Use Tax will be used as an additional resource, rather than to replace current sources of funding.  
  • We also supported clarifying that funds from the tax can be used to finance the operations and management of financially distressed properties, supportive services or staff of supportive services providers, and the costs of operating emergency shelter facilities. 
Minnesota Cooperative Housing Act (308C)  
  • This bill creates a new 308C cooperative housing statute that consolidates housing cooperative incorporation and governance under one statute. The purpose of this new chapter is to provide new housing co-ops with a standardized framework for development and to support the enabling environment for co-ops.   

 

What Did Not Pass This Session  

Source of Income Protections 
  • Despite broad majority support and 20+ other states passing protections for renters from the source of income (SOI) discrimination, Senator Ron Latz made it clear that he would not vote for a bill that contained SOI protections. Therefore, SOI protections did not make it into the final bill. MCCD will continue to advocate that all Minnesotans have access to housing that is safe and affordable, regardless of their source of income.   
 Housing Cooperative Package 
  • MCCD also looks forward to continuing advocacy efforts to support the development of affordable housing cooperatives. This session, we introduced two new programs: the Affordable Housing Cooperative Technical Assistance Fund, and the Affordable Homeownership Cooperative Down Payment Assistance Fund. Given the extremely limited budget for housing this session, we were unable to move the programs forward, however, we received extremely positive feedback, and we know that, once enacted, these programs will support the enabling environment for housing cooperatives and serve as a tool for generational wealth-creation. 
Land Use Regulation Changes  
  • At the beginning of the 2024 legislative session, there seemed to be a lot of hope for passing a bipartisan, cross-sector supported land use and zoning changes reform package. Unfortunately, the bill did not make it across the finish line due to decreasing lawmaker support from the suburban metro districts. You can read more about here.   
Cannabis Business Development Changes  
  • MCCD saw an opportunity to help bring forth some changes to the cannabis business development programs this legislative session. We were focused on getting more admin support for organizations interested in cannabis lending, higher loan allowances for social equity applicants, and flexibility in the application process for new subsidiary entities of existing DEED partners. While these changes did not pass this year, DEED is preparing to launch the programs and is currently seeking input from organizations.  
  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) are seeking public input on the development of four new state programs for the legal cannabis industry: CanGrow, CanNavigate, CanStartup, and CanTrain. These four new programs were created to support a social equity-focused cannabis industry that supports small, independent businesses in Minnesota. DEED and OCM want to center community expertise in the design of these programs so they will meet the state’s needs.  
  • To accomplish this, DEED and OCM have launched a Request for Information (RFI) to invite input from the community. Please provide your feedback in this Request for Information (RFI) survey form to help guide the state as they develop the priorities for the grant and loan programs by June 14.  

We are thrilled about the many provisions in both the economic development and affordable housing bills that we have been championing. The potential impact of these investments on Minnesotans statewide is incredibly exciting.  

We are deeply grateful for the unwavering support from our members and community partners and can’t wait to collaborate throughout the year to shape policy and funding initiatives for the next legislative session. Stay tuned, and we encourage you to join our member meetings and events to actively influence our priorities!  

Hope to see you on June 13 as we celebrate the 2024 legislative session! 

$3.1 Million in Racial and Economic Justice Grants Awarded

Author
Posted on

May 15, 2024

Categories

$3.1 Million in Racial and Economic Justice Grants Awarded

In a significant step towards fostering racial and economic equity, The Minneapolis Foundation has announced the recipients of its Racial and Economic Justice Grants naming MCCD as a recipient. 

The funding supports organizations and projects that:

  • Advance structural and systems change through policy advocacy, organizing, and movement building.
  • Invest in economic systems and practices that build wealth and stabilize communities.
  • Advance narrative strategies focused on racial and economic justice.
“For too long, traditional economic development practices have inflicted economic, social, and political harm on BIPOC and low-wealth communities. At MCCD, we see shared ownership as an approach that repairs this harm and builds community wealth.” – Elena Gaarder, CEO of MCCD

With the support of The Minneapolis Foundation and racial and economic justice at the core of our work we will continue to advance policy, create access to capital, and provide technical assistance to expand worker owned cooperative development.

Racial Equity Training

Author
Posted on

May 1, 2024

Categories

Racial Equity Training

Our values are not just words on paper, they are the guiding principles that shape everything we do at MCCD. One of our core values is Racial Justice and Intersectionality. We believe in an anti-racist approach to our work, making sure everyone’s identity is honored, and recognize how this lives in how we work and operate on every level.

We are putting in the work practicing our values and have started our third phase of racial equity training: Operationalizing Racial Equity. Putting our racial equity tools into practice, we ignited vulnerable and productive conversations.

Our team engaged in another racial equity training session: Racial Equity Tool & Communication. This session was an intensive work group setting that challenged our thinking and helped us see opportunities to put equity into action.

Throughout the year, our team remains committed to coming together for ongoing racial equity training, integrating these learnings into every aspect of our work.

Policy & Advocacy Training at the Capitol

Author
Posted on

February 17, 2024

Categories

Policy & Advocacy Training at the Capitol

Thank you to everyone that joined us at our Policy & Advocacy Training at the Capitol! We learned, laughed, and teared up from some incredibly moving testimonies.

Access to the Capitol can be intimidating and difficult to navigate. Our training focused on using access to the Capitol as a powerful platform to share narratives and reaching advocacy goals with confidence. Attendees learned about plain language, wrote an elevator pitch, practiced their testimonies in ahearing room, and took a tour of the Capitol!

Thank you to our speakers!

  • Jeru Gobeze – Advocacy Director, Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota
  • Representative Mohamed Noor – Representative for District 60B
    Chair, Human Services Finance Committee
  • Kadra Abdi – Director of Local Policy & Field Building, MCCD
  • Kari Johnson – Director of State Policy & Field Building, MCCD
  • Kelly Law – SeniorPolicy & Field Advisor, MCCD
  • Tina Stennes – Communications Manager, MCCD

Thank you to our sponsors!

  • Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota
  • Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
  • MN CDFI Coalition
 Learn more about our 2024 policy agendas!

Home and Community-Based Service Cooperatives

Author
Posted on

February 16, 2024

Categories

Home and Community-Based Service Cooperatives

It’s National Caregiver Day! Ever wondered what happens when caregivers come together? They develop cooperatives that are building wealth among workers and providing exceptional care for their clients!


Despite the benefits to workers, their clients, and the community, there are very few Home and Community-Based Service cooperatives in Minnesota. Our Director of Shared Ownership, Electra, has been busy expanding shared ownership opportunities to our BIPOC and underinvested communities. We are currently working with 5 worker-owned home care businesses providing financial support and technical assistance to address the unique legal, business, and organizational characteristics of cooperative and employee-owned business models!


The owners of Cardinal Comfort Care LLC embraced the worker owned model and is now thriving with a mission to create a Care Model that puts caregivers and their clients first. By offering member ownership to raise wages and offer innovative training opportunities that create competent compassionate quality care for their clients.

Shared Ownership Collaborative St. Paul

Author
Posted on

February 13, 2024

Categories

Shared Ownership Collaborative St. Paul

One of our guiding goals for this years legislative session is to create and expand shared ownership opportunities to support worker-cooperatives, real estate strategies, and housing cooperatives to promote wealth-building, prevent displacement, and ensure community control of assets in BIPOC and intentionally underinvested communities!


Integral to achieving this objective is our collaboration with organizations including our Shared Ownership Collaborative St Paul! This collaborative is BIPOC-led organizations working together with a shared belief that our communities should have the power, resources, and support to control and make decisions about their land, jobs, and housing. Our collaboration includes Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Model Cities of St. Paul, Rondo Community Land Trust, and West Side Community Organization (WSCO)

Credit Builder Loan Program

credit builder loan program
Author
Posted on

January 23, 2024

Categories

Credit Builder Loan Program

A step on the path to building your credit!

We serve as a bridge to the traditional marketplace and offer a secure and low-risk credit building option that starts people on the path to building/rebuilding personal credit. This non-predatory, small dollar loan provides resources and a path forward for those looking to strengthen their credit and gain access to mainstream loan products. Qualified applicants work with a certified credit counselor at a partner organization. MCCD writes, services the loan, and reports on time payments to three credit bureaus.

Loan Details:

  • $240 loan with a 12 month repayment schedule at 0% interest
  • $20 monthly payments
  • One-time processing fee of $15 for loan generation

Contact us to learn more about MCCD’s Credit Building Loan program.

Chipo Monga
cmonga@mccdmn.org
(612) 386-2529

Giselle Mercado – 2023 ELCD Mentee

Giselle Mercado – 2023 ELCD Mentee
Author
Posted on

January 19, 2024

Categories

Giselle Mercado – 2023 ELCD Mentee

In the short time that I’ve lived in Minnesota and worked in economic development since completing my master’s degree in nonprofit management, I’ve been active in the lending program at the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC). My role has encompassed working on automating processes, implementing improvements in the portfolio management system, and providing technical assistance. Additionally, I have contributed to doubling the size of the loan portfolio to $6MM. This experience has allowed me to blend the financial and social worlds and to deploy affordable capital while genuinely caring about the borrowers. I find great satisfaction in working towards increasing access to affordable capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as leveraging funds to maximize the impact in the community. 

The decision to pursue a career in the community development field stems from my desire to do more for my community. While I learned a lot when I worked for ten years in the financial and banking sector in my home country, I always yearned to make a more meaningful contribution. The community development sector, particularly Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), has given me the chance to marry the financial and social aspects of what I do. It is a privilege to support entrepreneurs, to ensure they have affordable access to capital, and to genuinely care about their success. 

As a Latina immigrant, I found my experience with the ELCD mentorship program empowering. The program highlighted how the skills I developed in the financial sector play a key role in the community development field. It also addressed the responsibility I carry in serving my community. The mentorship program allowed me to recognize the impact I can make and the importance of my role in empowering and supporting BIPOC communities. I consider it a privilege to have known Elena and witnessed her deep commitment to the BIPOC community. My advice to future mentees is to embrace the opportunities this program provides and to recognize the strength and value they bring to the community development field. 

Embracing Shared Ownership

Embracing Shared Ownership
Author
Posted on

January 9, 2024

Categories

Embracing Shared Ownership

Embracing Shared Ownership! When Mychael and Stephanie Wright decided to retire, they chose a unique path by selling their business Golden Thyme Coffee & Cafe to Rondo Community Land Trust. Together, they crafted Golden Thyme Presents, a cooperative serving as an incubator for entrepreneurs and food vendors who are Black, Indigenous or other people of color.

“In times of crisis, but also as economies are in periods of growth, a shared ownership is a tested and proven model that can take communities further together,” -Electra Skrzydlewski, MCCD’s Director of Shared Ownership.

 

StarTribune, January 8, 2024 – You’ve built a business that’s ready to sell. Here’s how some Twin Cities entrepreneurs did it. Whether it’s an investor-backed startup looking for a substantial profit by selling the business or a person near retirement, having an exit strategy or succession plan is imperative.

Capital Strategies Symposium

Capital Strategies Symposium
Author
Posted on

November 14, 2023

Categories

Capital Strategies Symposium

MCCD along side Mni Sota Fund and Shared Capital Cooperative in collaboration with the MN Small Business Administration District Office held a Capital Strategies Symposium today. The morning was full of insightful conversation on building a more inclusive finance system.


We were joined by leaders in lending, community and economic development, philanthropy, and government discussing shared ownership enterprises and advancing racial equity and wealth building in BIPOC communities.

Special thanks to our speakers and panelists!

Speakers:
Geri Sanchez Aglipay, Regional Administrator, SBA
Neela Mollgaard, Executive Director, DEED Office of Small Business Innovation
Mayor Melvin Carter, City of Saint Paul

Panelists:
Jamar Smith, Executive Director, NICE MN
Kit Fordham, Executive Director, Mni Sota
E. Coco, Deputy Director, Rondo Community Land Trust
Christina Jennings, Executive Director, Shared Capital Cooperative

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, City of Saint Paul – Government, Sunrise Banks, Rondo Community Land Trust