Several housing bills heard in committee

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Affordable housing is a big issue for many families and communities across the state. As a result, several proposals have come forward to help address this shortage. Senate committees this week heard multiple bills aimed at easing this shortage by fostering growth in this critical area.

One bill would allow senior housing projects to better qualify and compete for housing resources. The bill also requires that the funding authority award funding for the entirety of the project, but no more than 55% of the total project cost can be paid for by bonds. Additionally, the bill would also prohibit a project from sitting on a bonding allocation and not using the resources in a timely manner. (S.F. 3700)

Another proposal would establish a tax credit for housing. This proposal establishes the Minnesota Housing Tax Credit Contribution Fund. The fund would raise revenue by a tax-deductible donation. The dollar-for-dollar nonrefundable tax credit can range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $5,000,000 for a taxpayer or an insurance company. The total amount of allowable tax credits is $25 million. Any unused credit for a taxpayer or insurance company must be carried into the next taxable year, and credits can be carried forward for 10 consecutive years. In the event a partnership or multiple owners working under a single entity are granted tax credits, the credit must be disbursed on a pro rata basis amongst the shareholders. (S.F. 3301)

The other proposal would focus $6 million in resources on several programs aimed at helping individuals who have a mental illness with stable housing and encourage local units of government to establish their own housing trust fund. It would also appropriate money for Homework Starts with Home, which is a program to help families with school aged children find stable housing. It has been found that the program increases school attendance and decreases chronic absenteeism in comparison to other similarly situated students not participating in the program. (S.F. 3238)