The Governor's Housing Task Force Calls for Your Ideas

This is your opportunity to write two to three pages about what you think will address our growing affordable housing crisis. Link to more details here. Submissions are due March 15th.   

By Kirsten Swanson KSTP-TV October 19, 2017 10:39 PM

This is your opportunity to write two to three pages about what you think will address our growing affordable housing crisis. Link to more details here. Submissions are due March 15th.

Feds give green light to METRO Gold Line

Project design and engineering will gear up early this year, Metropolitan Council continues to move forward with management of the project

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded the Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project an important approval, one of the first steps to a transit line which would connect thousands of East Metro residents with jobs and opportunities throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The FTA officially granted Gold Line entry into the project development phase of the federal New Starts program, which funds major transit projects across the country. The designation means local spending will now be eligible for potential matching federal funds in the future.  Continue here.

33rd Annual MN Homeless Memorial
March and Service, December 21, 2017

In honor of those who died while homeless.  Bulletin here

Site along Old Rockford Road/Highway 55 slated for 47 affordable housing units

From Sun Sailor Dec 5, 2017, By Kristen Miller kristen.miller@ecm-inc.com
Cranberry Ridge supporters (including Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and MICAH Housing for All chapter) rejoiced Nov. 28 after the Plymouth City Council approved the proposed 47-unit affordable housing development, Cranberry Ridge, for the site that had been called into question. See full article here.

Former Renters Settle Class-Action Lawsuit For $650,000

A class-action lawsuit, alleging housing discrimination by an apartment complex in Richfield, has been settled for $650,000. The complex was formally known as "Crossroads at Penn."

New management renamed the units when it took over in the fall of 2015.The rental units, owned by MSP Crossroads and Soderberg Apartment Specialists, came under fire in 2015 when they announced they would no longer accept federal Section 8 housing vouchers. Complete article here http://kstp.com/news/richfield-apartment-complex-former-renters-settle-class-action-lawsuit/4640906/ .

MICAH 2017 Celebration "Living Love!"

was held Tuesday, June 13. The Keynote speaker was Pastor Chris Olson Bingea from First Lutheran Church in St. Paul. MICAH celebrated their heroes with the 2017 Community Hero Awards Complete list of awards is here.

Among those honored were Cathy Walters and her group acting as www.mobilehopemn.org along with the MICAH Housing for All chapter. Cathy has been part of a small faith sharing group for several years studying issues around poverty, immigration, criminal justice, racism, homelessness. Instead of entering into more study the group collectively decided to start being the hands & feet of Jesus and put their energy into building relationships in the Dayton Park Properties in Dayton, MN.

Left to right: Roxanne Smith, St. Joseph the Worker Social Justice Coordinator; Jane Warren, Volunteer; Sharon Burns, Volunteer; JD Burns, Board of Director; Dan Walter, volunteer/financial contributor; and, Cathy Walter, Exec. Director/volunteer. 

MICAH recognizes Richfield Council Member Maria Regan Gonzalez 

As new council member, Maria Regan Gonzalez is the complete package for an "affordable housing champion" who works with the people and for the people. She was instrumental in saving Seasons Park, a 420 unit Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)project in Richfield with Aeon. 

MICAH South Chapter recognizes as Community Heroes, the four congregations: Grace Lutheran Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church, and Easter Lutheran Church, who were willing to open their doors to 78 of our community members and host a warm, safe 24 hour temporary crisis shelter during bitterly cold days in December and January.  The Pioneer Press wrote about this effort here.

Treated with dignity and respect, singles, youth and families who had no other option for safe shelter, found rest, warmth, help and peace with these four hosting faith communities. Through their faith, courage and commitment, numerous other Dakota County community partners, elected officials, congregation members and organizations have become aware of the need for a safe shelter for our neighbors. Hundreds reached out in support of the shelter guests last winter. They have given of their time, donated needed supplies, contributed financially and are seeking ways to be part of the effort to establish a permanent safe shelter for our neighbors. A vital initiative has developed through these four congregations who on short notice answered a critical community need. 

Pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe of Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley  and others from the four honored churches.

MICAH 2017 Legislative Agenda (Bolded items- top priorities)

1. Ensure smaller culturally diverse organizations are funded through specific targeted set asides in an Equity Bill and language in appropriation bills prioritizes funding for diverse organizations to increase their capacity and to obtain State funding for Rental, Homeownership, and Homeless Programs including: Homeless Outreach, Prevention, Shelter, Youth Services, Transitional Housing and Supportive Housing.

2. Lead Safety Bill- Sen Hoffman and Rep. Clark are the chief authors. 

3. Increase State Resources for Housing: Comparable bill to the Common Sense Housing Investment Act which changes the Mortgage Interest Deduction into to a Tax credit. FEDERAL LEGISLATION: Common Sense Housing Investment Act The bill: Lowers the cap on the amount of a mortgage for which interest can be deducted from $1 million to $500,000, and allows home equity loans and second homes under the $500,000 cap. Converts the mortgage interest deduction to a 15% non-refundable mortgage interest tax credit.

a. Provides a tax break to an additional 15 Million low and moderate income homeowners who currently do not claim MID;
b. Provides $241 billion over 10 years to address pressing affordable rental housing needs, including homelessness, helping veterans, seniors, families with children, adults, and people with disabilities afford apartments and fighting poverty; and
c. Supports nearly 4 million jobs, generating $282 billion in local revenue and $53 billion in local tax revenue.


4. Homes for All: See agenda here and here.

5. Accessibility: Expungement of Criminal Records and Unlawful Detainers (Second Chance) and Support Universal Housing designs. Restore the Vote for Felons who have completed their incarceration. 

6. Livable Incomes 

a. Double MFIP (public assistance grants) so families can afford housing. Increase public assistance for adults and unemployment benefits. GAAIN- Give Aid to All in NEED
b. Sick and safe leave, and paid time off.
c. Driver Licenses for Workers 

7. Education: Support legislation that creates excellent integrated educational opportunities for children and adults, including job training throughout the State.

8. Health Care: Accessible and affordable for everyone. 

9. Civil Rights Enforcement 

a. Increase funding to Minnesota Human Rights Department.
b. Fair Housing Testing (MN Housing and Met Council) Fair Lending Practices 

10. Transportation: Funding should ensure affordable housing along the transit line, replacement of demolished housing, protections from tax and rent increases. People and businesses employed to develop should be community people and businesses matching at least the racial demographics of the neighborhood or metro area, whichever is higher.

Are you in a housing crisis? If you are facing foreclosure, can't find a place to live, or have other tenant issues, check our list of links here.  MICAH does not directly help with these issues.

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