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State Representative Karen Clark

273 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-0294

For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX

Posted: 2009-01-15 00:00:00
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Column/LTE

The Chairís Corner on Housing in Minnesota: Ensuring Homeownership Remains a Key Cornerstone of the American Dream


Housing has taken center stage in our state and nation with no sign of exiting left or right any time too soon. As the Chair of the Housing Finance and Policy and Public Health Finance Committee at the Minnesota House of Representatives, I am committed to keep housing at the forefront of issues considered at the State Legislature as we work to balance our budget in these very challenging economic times.

Currently legislative leaders are focused on budgeting for results with the understanding that the budget is our primary tool to ensure Minnesotaís economic recovery is realized. Affordable housing is central to a strong economy and a healthy region and clearly must be a priority in our economic recovery efforts if we are to return our communities to a more prosperous state.

The 2009 Legislative Session is an opportunity to address Minnesotaís housing needs and set in motion plans to create affordable housing options for all households, help households in crisis before they become homeless, put an end to the foreclosure chaos, and provide support to those individuals and families currently homeless. Clearly these are tough times for Minnesota households in great need of housing policies that invest in our people and our communities.

During the interim, Senator Mee Moua and I convened a Housing Workgroup of housing leaders (funders, developers, homeless prevention advocates, local government, lenders and real estate interests) to discuss opportunities to address housing issues in the 2009 session with a united voice and to develop a multi-year plan to meet Minnesotaís housing needs. During the 2009 session, the Legislative Housing Caucus will convene 3-4 times. I encourage all interested individuals to attend Ė you need to show up and fight for adequate and affordable housing.

Over the coming months, I will be talking a lot about housing and I look forward to engaging fellow policymakers in a housing agenda that delivers what Minnesotans need to ensure that homeownership and affordable housing remain key cornerstones of the American Dream. We can be creative and smart in how we choose to use the federal dollars from the stimulus package for housing.

I will keep Minnesotans informed about housing issues and policies as they unfold during the 2009 Legislative Session. Please feel free to call or write with any ideas or issues. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-0294, by mail at 471 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 or by e-mail at rep.karen.clark@house.mn.

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