2023 Public Policy Roundup part 2: Housing and aging services
The 2023 Public Policy Roundup series continues with highlights of successes achieved in the areas of housing and aging services. The bills are organized by their primary focus, including increasing housing availability, improving access to housing, homelessness prevention and mitigation, and aging services. These policy updates do not represent every policy change made in 2023. Instead, the following curated list highlights some of the most impactful bills for Wilder’s broader community.
If you would like to know more, please contact Adrián Rafael Magaña, Director of Public Policy and Community Relations.
Increase Housing Availability (production & rehab)
- Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) - $90M for a new community stabilization program to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing.
- Housing Infrastructure Bonds - $200M for 2024-2025 for housing infrastructure bonds to fund the creation of affordable housing.
- Public Housing Rehabilitation: $15 million to rehabilitate public housing units in disrepair.
- First-Generation Homebuyers Down Payment Assistance - $50M for a new down payment assistance program for first-generation homebuyers. This program will reduce the racial homeownership gap in Minnesota by providing oppurtunities to those without generational wealth.
- Bring it Home Minnesota - $46M for Minnesota’s rental assistance program for low-income Minnesotans. All Minnesotans (individual or family) under 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI), who pay more than 30% of their income are eligible.
- Housing Support Bill- Modifies the Housing Support program so that recipients are no longer forced to pay up to 90% of their unearned income (SSI, RSDI, veterans’ benefits) towards their housing expenses. Starting in October 2024, 70% of unearned income will be protected, effectively “capping” the amount recipients must pay towards housing costs to 30%. This bill also excludes Tribal per-capita payments and lived-experience stipends from being counted as “countable income.” While not all items of the bill brought forward passed, the above changes make Housing Support a more viable and person-centered assistance program that affords recipients greater flexibility.
Homelessness Prevention and Mitigation
- Shelter Capital - $100M in one-time funding to enhance and create shelter spaces across the state.
- Emergency Services Program (ESP) – The legislature made its largest investment ever for emergency shelter services, including a $30M increase for 2024-25 and a $55 million increase in 2026-27. ESP supports organizations and local communities to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness by providing flexible funding that supports the operations, staffing, and the direct allocation of resources to support families, individuals, and seniors.
- Family Homeless Prevention Program (FHPAP) – FHPAP provides support and financial assistance – such as rent deposits, rent payments, utility payments, etc. – to eligible households at imminent risk of homelessness. The legislature appropriated $95M in one-time funding.
- Transitional Housing Program: Transitional housing connects homeless individuals or families with housing that is designed for independent living for up to 24 months. This program received $6M across 2024-2025 and $30M across 2026-2027.
- Homeless Youth Act- $30M across 2024-2025 and $30M across 2026-2027. This bill establishes a Homeless Youth Fund and awards grants to providers that serve homeless youth and youth at risk of homelessness. Some of the many services eligible for funding are community outreach efforts, drop-in programs, emergency shelter programs, and integrated supportive housing and transitional living.
- Wilder worked with the Senior Meals Coalition to secure $10.5M for the Senior Nutrition Program.
- Support for a culturally relevant Alzheimer’s and Dementia awareness campaign to improve connections between underserved communities and culturally relevant aging services.
- Rate and funding supports for Elderly Waiver, Home Care, and Nursing Supports.
- $1.5 million in one-time funding to support Homeless Elders Program (operated by Catholic Charities).
Many of these changes have been years in the making, and none of it would have been possible without your continued advocacy, expertise, and passion. There is more work to be done, but I hope everyone reading this can take a moment to reflect on a job well done and the impact YOU have throughout our community.
Additionally, it is important to remember that these are merely highlights of the bills that were passed in the space of housing and aging services, please reach out to Adrián with any questions you may have on these and other policies from the 2023 legislative session.