Housing survey results are in

We recently surveyed our membership and Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) members on issues related to housing in order to get input to help shape our 2020 legislative plan of work. Thanks to everyone who participated. More than 105 individuals from 71 cities across Minnesota completed the survey and provided valuable insight into the housing challenges in Greater Minnesota, what tools are working and what additional tools are needed to help solve the growing crisis.

Cities have issues with several housing areas: workforce housing, affordable housing and aging housing stock, to name a few. The survey indicates, with over 60% of those responding, that a lack of workforce housing is the number one challenge facing Greater Minnesota communities. Reasons cited for the driving the housing problem include a lack of developers, lack of access to capital and high construction costs, according to the survey results.

We also wanted to know what tools cities are using to try to increase housing stock. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) was the overwhelming favorite, with nearly 65% of respondents saying TIF has been used by their city in recent years. The second-most-used tool was property tax abatement, which 37.5% of respondents reported using in their communities.

Also clear from the survey was that our members think we should be leading the charge. Almost 70% responded that the GMNP and the CGMC should drive the issue.

Join us for housing meetings!

The survey results will be used to frame the discussion next week at our regional housing meetings on Sept. 24 in Austin and Sept. 27 in Fergus Falls. The meetings, which are co-hosted by CGMC and GMNP, will provide an opportunity for community leaders to share their thoughts and concerns related to housing. Both the survey and the meeting discussions will be used to shape our legislative priorities and strategies on housing for the upcoming legislative session and into the future.

If you have not yet signed up to attend, please RSVP to Julie Liew at jlliew@flaherty-hood.com. Here is the meeting information:

Austin: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1-4 p.m.
Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
Ruby Rupner Auditorium
1304 21st St. NE
Austin, MN

Fergus Falls: Friday, Sept. 27, 1-4 p.m.
West Central Initiative
1000 Western Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN