ST. PAUL — State Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake, has earned a 2021 Housing Leadership Award for his efforts to make homeownership more affordable in Minnesota.
Housing First Minnesota presented Mekeland with the award.
"I am honored to receive this award because decisions at the state level are choking out affordable housing and driving more and more prospective homeowners out of the market," Mekeland said. "Homeownership is a major factor in building strong families which, in turn, build strong communities. Our state's extreme regulatory and permitting processes are doing a major disservice to us in that regard and Minnesota has fallen far behind our neighboring states in terms of housing affordability. I will continue supporting policies that incentivize affordable homes while pushing back against burdensome regulations that only make our situation worse."
Housing First Executive Director David Siegel said Minnesota's housing market is on thin ice and reform is needed to increase housing affordability. He credited Mekeland and other legislators for working to address this issue.
“With inventory at an all-time low, affordability at its worst in decades and the widest homeownership gap in the country, Minnesota’s housing market is at a pivot point,” Siegel said. “These leaders recognize the need to legalize starter homes by addressing the way we zone and permit new housing. The Housing Leadership Award recognizes legislators who worked to promote housing affordability and homeownership during the 2021 legislative session and special session.”