SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Senate Housing and Homelessness Prevention Committee advanced legislation providing $100 million to support families, children, and Minnesotans across the state who are at risk or are currently experiencing homelessness Tuesday. The legislation (SF 1367) will offer immediate help in stabilizing housing for people across Minnesota said chief author Senator Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville).
“Access to affordable and stable housing is foundational to the health and wellbeing of Minnesotans,” said Sen. Port. “Unfortunately, that housing is out of reach for far too many people, and we are facing a crisis in the number of Minnesotans experiencing homelessness across our state. This is unacceptable, and requires a real commitment from the state.”
The legislation would invest $100 million into the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program, which would provide grants to help stabilize families in their existing homes, to shorten the amount of time in which families stay in emergency shelters, or to assist families with securing transitional or affordable permanent housing. The urgency to move this legislation has only increased as the recently released Minnesota Homeless Mortality Report found that homelessness significantly shortens an individual’s life expectancy to the extent that a 20-year-old person experiencing homelessness has the same likelihood of death as a 50-year-old in the general population.
“Without reliable housing people are unable to have stability in any other aspect of their life, making it all but impossible for them to get the help they need, whether it’s in addiction, mental, or physical health,” said Sen. Port. “This lack of stable housing is literally a matter of life or death for thousands of people, and we must make it our highest priority this year.”
Established in 1993, the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program is administered by the Minnesota Housing Financing Authority, and currently provides funding to twenty grantees across all 87 Minnesota counties, as well as to all eleven tribal nations.