Legislative Commission on Housing Affordability holds first meeting

On Feb. 24 , the Legislative Commission on Housing Affordability met for the first of their monthly meetings. This group was established as a result of the Commission on Housing Affordability and Ownership created by the Governor. The previous commission took a deep look into understanding housing affordability costs in the state, informing the work of this new commission.

The commission is a collaboration between DFL and Republican legislators from both bodies that will look to implement policy to enable housing affordability for all Minnesotans across the state. The first meeting involved electing two new chairs, Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point ) and Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL-Maplewood). Other commission members include Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing), Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia), Rep. Kaohly Her (DFL-St. Paul), Sen. Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) and Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake).

The meeting included information about what topics and presentations the members would like to see. The first presentation was from the Governor’s Task Force on Housing, which came out with recommendations and goals on which the commission will base its work. Other ideas from the committee members that may be relevant to GMNP members are:

  • Examining city fees and seeing the role of permitting in Greater Minnesota relative to the metro area.
  • Examining city density and zoning (lot size and high cost of land).
  • Hearing from different geographically located cities because there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • What border states are doing to address this issue.
  • Address workforce shortage in construction jobs and increase the number of students entering trade programs.

We will continue to monitor this commission to ensure that cities are represented accurately as a part of the solution to improve housing costs.