St. Paul, MN – State Representative Michael Howard (DFL - Richfield) announced legislation to place a statewide moratorium on evictions as well as provide emergency housing assistance to thousands of Minnesotans who may face housing instability as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Representative Howard released the following statement:
“Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans may face housing instability by the end of this month, threatening their own security, wellbeing and the health of the public. Some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable, people with disabilities and seniors, are at risk. Our racial disparities in wages and housing also mean our communities of color are at greater risk. It is vital that we respond proactively to this looming housing crisis to ensure all Minnesotans can stay in their homes, stay safe, and in turn, help keep all of us safe. We are in this together and that means ensuring all of us have access to stable housing.”
Approximately 250,000 Minnesotans make at or below the minimum wage, and many face the potential of lost wages as a result of the pandemic. This legislation aims to provide a range of housing assistance options for Minnesotans, funneling those resources through the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority and providers that operate in all 87 counties. In addition, this legislation would halt evictions, a critical public health imperative to prevent homelessness and challenges with housing instability that make it difficult to follow Minnesota Department of Health and CDC recommendations.
Representative Howard has coordinated with the Walz Administration, housing experts and Minnesotans in preparing this bill, which can be found here.