As we look forward to 2019 and the new legislative session, the MCCD Policy Team took a minute to reflect on what we accomplished with our members and partners in 2018.
At the Capitol
The 2018 legislative session proved to be a success for MCCD, our members, and Homes for All partners. MCCD helped stave off any discussion of cuts to the small business development programs that help support economic development work around the state and in partnership with the Homes for All coalition, we helped to secure $90 million in bonds for permanent affordable housing.
Over the summer, Governor Dayton’s Task Force on Affordable Housing released its report outlining a number of recommendations to support building and preserving more affordable housing across the state. While there was a lot of wonder about what would happen with the report going forward, the Prosperity’s Front Door campaign has emerged to help shore up support for an education campaign and to help find champions for the various recommendations.
In September, Senior Policy Advisor Kari Johnson and Homes for All partners led efforts to put on a successful Lt. Governor Candidate Forum in Duluth with both major candidates. It was one of the only policy specific forums during the election cycle that received attendance from both major candidates and it received national recognition from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
At City Hall
Make Homes Happen, of which MCCD is a proud member, worked hard to continue the momentum for affordable housing as a top issue. Many of the newly elected city council members and Mayor Frey had run on a platform that prioritized affordable housing issues. 2018 saw important conversations around goals for affordable housing and how these goals would be realized through the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and an interim inclusionary zoning policy was passed.
In September, MCCD welcomed on board Caitlin as a Policy Advisor with a focus on local and regional policy work, beginning in Saint Paul and the East Metro area. Caitlin spent her first few months in her new role connecting with members and partners to hear their goals and ideas for improving housing resources and policies in Saint Paul. If you have any questions or concerns, or if we haven’t had a chance to connect yet, please email Caitlin!
On both sides of the river, MCCD members (including staff as well as residents and board members) attended multiple public hearings to show their support of affordable housing and small business investments proposed in the 2019 budgets. Advocates were also pleased with the large housing wins in the 2019 budget in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. MCCD staff attended a press conference hosted by the Mayor’s office to stand with city officials and other advocates as the Mayor signed the new budget with a record amount of investment in affordable housing.
Looking Ahead to 2019
In 2019, MCCD will be working on increasing funding for the Business Development Grant Program to support technical assistance work on the economic development work and we have already secured a chief author in the Senate, Senator Rich Draheim. MCCD will also be working extensively on the Homes for All agenda, which supports the full continuum of affordable housing. The Minnesota House of Representatives will now be led by the DFL, and we will have both new committees and chairs. Keep a close eye on the rundown for action alerts and updated information regarding the 2019 legislative session.
We will also continue our local and regional advocacy alongside our MCCD members and Make Homes Happen partners. The budget wins in late 2018 have set the stage for our efforts to create local, dedicated, funding sources for affordable housing. We look forward to continued partnership with housing advocates and non-profit developers in 2019!
Stay tuned as we continue to recap 2018 with our top highlights in Membership Engagement and our Emerging Leaders in Community Development program!