St. Paul, Minn.— Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) is the lead DFL Senator negotiating legislation to provide funding for addressing homelessness, housing stability and to codify into law Governor Walz’s Executive Order to prevent eviction proceedings during the COVID-19 outbreak. Last Wednesday, Sen. Dziedzic participated in a media availability today to highlight the urgency and encourage Senate Republicans to address issues of housing stability.
“More than 250,000 workers throughout Minnesota make at or below the minimum wage. Many more live paycheck to paycheck. Rent or mortgage payments are undoubtedly one of the largest monthly expenditures in a family’s budget, and COVID-19 has created unprecedented economic insecurity,” Sen. Dziedzic said. “People are trying to figure out how to survive. A key component of our economic security package is providing emergency housing assistance to keep people in their homes.”
The governor’s executive order back in March halted evictions, but it does not cancel rent. Renters who lost their jobs could be in significant financial jeopardy without assistance. The Republican-controlled Senate and DFL-run House are divided over how much to invest in housing aid and how long to continue the moratorium.
The Senate Agriculture, Rural Development and Housing Finance Committee on Monday passed a bill that would provide $30 million for the housing assistance grants, and bar evictions for 60 to 90 days. The House version of the bill would provide $100 million for housing grants and keep the moratorium in effect until Walz declares the public health emergency over.
“We must pass this legislation – the need is there,” said Sen. Dziedzic. “It will protect public health, prevent homelessness, and help Minnesotans stay home and stay safe.”