Walking home in St. Paul

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  1. Minnesota has always been on the front edge of producing good, affordable housing and certainly that applies specifically to housing for those who are homeless. However, for the last 30 years or so, our national housing policies have been totally skewed and our national programs have been splintered and cut to pieces. Just ask, for example, the Staff at our Public Housing Agencies (not so incidentally, Minneapolis and St. Paul’s PHA’s are still always rated as two of the best in the Country).

    Well-meaning and committed as everyone involved with housing the homeless in the Twin Cities is and always has been, unless we get get to our national elected officials and get our priorities changed, not much improvement will be noted locally. Affordable housing MUST be a national priority or we will be left as we are now – wherein roughly 83% of our national housing subsidies are indirect (mortgage interest deductions, capital gains exemptions, etc.) and mostly benefit those that don’t need them and roughly 17% of the housing subsidies are direct (Section 8, Public Housing, CDBG funds, etc.) and do benefit those who need them. Such a disparity is not only a national disgrace, but is against the common good.

    As usual, it’s not that the money isn’t there – it’s where it goes.

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