Program seeks to expand housing opportunities

David McGee, executive director of Build Wealth MN, testifies before the House Housing Finance and Policy Committee Feb. 26 in support of a bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Clark, right. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)

A pilot program proposes to address disparities in Minnesota homeownership.

Housing Opportunities Made Equitable would provide resources and services to increase homeownership and rental housing in communities of color and American Indians.

The House Housing Finance and Policy Committee heard testimony from community groups on the bill Wednesday, but did not take any action.

Under HF2112, sponsored by Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls), the committee chair, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency would receive $50 million in funding from the General Fund in fiscal year 2015 to administer the program. Some funding would go towards helping families maintain homeownership through loan services, employment training and other resources. The majority of the funding, $47.5 million, would go toward the creation of a loan pool from which families could borrow money for housing and $1.7 million would go towards local nonprofits with a track record in housing services.

Individuals provided personal testimony on their experiences with owning a home and representatives from several state councils also weighed in on the program.

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    Andrea Parrott's picture
    Andrea Parrott

    Andrea Parrott is a freelance writer from the 'burbs. (Twitter: @andrea_parrott)