Creating Affordable Homeownership is an “All-Hands-on-Deck” Crisis in Minnesota
Many of you have heard about MacKenzie Scott’s recent historic donation of $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and 84 local Habitats. We celebrate with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, as the sole recipient of a gift in Minnesota and look forward to seeing the impact of that gift in the metro area.
Here in Minnesota, we have one of the largest housing shortages in the nation. The State of Minnesota is creating between 100 and 140 new affordable ownership units annually but needs to be creating more than 2,700 units annually to meet the demand of our growing population. If we assume each new ownership unit needs about $75,000 in state support to make it affordable, basic math shows we need over $200 million per year to close the gap.
Scott’s generosity is inspiring, and we are thankful for her intentional investment in what we know works for poverty alleviation. Affordable homeownership is critical to breaking the cycle of generational poverty, closing the racial wealth gap, and solving our state’s affordable housing crisis. And to solve this crisis, we must have “all hands on deck.” Minnesota needs every layer of its community pushing to create a more just and equitable homeownership system. This includes individuals, private companies, nonprofits, and every level of our government. We need a system where every household can access ownership and build wealth for their families.
Right now, our Senate and House leaders are talking with the Governor about what investments we are going to make with the $9 billion budget surplus we have this year. As many of us have said before, there really is no excuse not to take actionable steps forward and make our own historic investment in affordable housing. We have the resources, we know we have the need, and we know what the solution is – so let’s get it done and invest $2 billion in affordable housing this year.
We are thrilled that Ms. Scott sees our work in the Habitat for Humanity network as effective. She knows what we know: affordable homeownership creates healthier families, better schools, stronger economies, and it builds generational wealth. We need “all hands on deck.” Now is the time to use your gifts to support this mission: your financial gifts, your talents, and your voice. Together, we can build a world where everyone has a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home.