The prosperity of Minnesota depends on an affordable and diverse mix of homes in all communities.
Communities throughout Minnesota are well-positioned for economic growth. The biggest missing element: enough people to meet the growing demand for workers. Additional housing is essential to attracting and retaining workers, making sure there are homes for young families to buy or rent and creating opportunities for people to live where they work.
The housing marketplace works for people with middle and higher incomes, but not those with lower incomes. There are good solutions.
The cost of housing is rising much faster than wages for too many working families–even many with two full-time wage earners–can’t afford to buy or rent decent housing.
In the meantime, the cost of housing has skyrocketed for a variety of reasons. The cost of building new homes and preserving or renovating existing homes has soared due to the rising costs of land, materials and labor.
Government regulations on safety and consumer protection have added to the cost too—although some of them can be streamlined.
There are good private-public solutions that can help create a marketplace that works for everyone. And fixing the marketplace for housing builds the foundation for strong communities and neighborhoods for all Minnesotans.
This is the time to act. The issue is urgent, solutions are immediate.
We are at a consensus crossroads. Communities, developers, policymakers and others agree that there are good solutions to create a better marketplace for housing. Minnesota's economy is good, and if we attract and retain enough workers, it will get better for everyone. The time to act is now.
Minnesota’s Housing Task Force recommends 30 specific ways to improve our housing marketplace, including:
REGULATORY REFORM: Eliminate unnecessary regulations, improve efficiency of government departments and cut red tape. In short, make housing more affordable by removing roadblocks that increase production costs.
INNOVATION: Encourage the creation of new building technologies, new financing methods, new ways to use logistics expertise and new ways to train and deploy construction and building trade talent.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RESOURCES: Additional spending by government, philanthropy and the private sector. New investments are needed, but history has shown that investments in housing – by government, private sector “impact investors,” foundations and others – have created great returns in economic growth and a healthier, well-educated population. Housing availability is Minnesota’s competitive edge.