Earlier this year, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey proposed historic levels of investment in affordable housing for the City’s 2019 budget. The Mayor’s proposal is a great start to seriously addressing our city's housing crisis, especially considering that one-fifth of the City’s residents are cost-burdened renters, and over 8% of Minneapolis Public Schools students experienced homelessness during the 2016-17 school year.
Throughout 2018, Make Homes Happen has connected with people across the City who care deeply about ensuring everyone in Minneapolis has a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home. We've heard from teachers, nurses, parents, and neighbors. At our campaign kickoff event, in meetings with Council Members, and at our postcard popup parties, community members have told us they want to live in a city in where all residents can afford their home, and have meaningful choices in where they live.
On November 1, Make Homes Happen members testified at the Minneapolis City Council's first 2019 budget hearing to show continued support for the Mayor's proposed investments in affordable housing. We heard powerful testimony focused on affordable housing throughout the first hearing, but our work is not done! The City Council will hold another public hearing on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 6:05pm and we need your help to show broad community support for affordable housing in Minneapolis.
Haven't testified before? No problem! Here are some tips for your 90-second testimony:
- Tell your personal story: Share your story or ideas about housing or homelessness using "I" statements. Don't speak for anyone else - your expertise is plenty!
- Point out the invisible barriers: Our ability to get and maintain safe and stable housing isn't just about personal choices - it's about the systemic barriers in our society that privilege some people over others. Let's focus our testimony on how to fix those systemic barriers.
- Connect housing to other aspects of your life: Housing isn't just about a place to live - it impacts every aspect of our lives. Take a moment to think about how housing has impacted you or your family's life.
- Be clear about what you want: We're testifying to ask the Minneapolis City Council to support the Mayor's 2019 budget proposal and to continue this level of support for affordable housing in 2019 and beyond.
- Take a deep breath: Remember that you're a part of a larger movement to provide stable housing and improve the lives of countless members of the community. We ALL support you in taking this brave and important step of sharing your story!
We are thankful to Mayor Frey for his strong support of housing in the 2019 budget and hope that the Minneapolis City Council Members will pass a historic level of funding for important housing programs. Yet we also know that there are still thousands of families, seniors, and children who will not be served unless we do even more. Our coalition still has our eyes on our original goal: permanent, dedicated funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund at $50 million a year for ten years. We will continue that work in 2019 and hope that you will join us in that effort.