Chamberlain: Minnesota Senate Passes Legislation Prioritizing Housing Affordability and Homeownership

The Minnesota Senate on Tuesday passed a $115 million bill focused on opening an affordable path to homeownership for more Minnesotans. Senate File 969 focuses on housing affordability and closing the homeownership gap.

“One of the most powerful tools we have to help families create generational, lasting wealth is homeownership,” said Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes). “Minnesota has excessive barriers that have put homeownership out of reach for too many families, but the Senate’s affordable housing bill will help more families achieve their American Dream.”

This legislation also includes an eviction moratorium phase-out passed earlier in the session. An eviction moratorium was originally established by Governor Walz through Executive Order 20-14, which became effective on March 24, 2020. This important change would restore property rights for owners while leaving vital protections in place for those who most need it. 

A number of other key provisions are included in the legislation:

  • $1.6 million a year to the Workforce Homeownership Program to provide one-time grants of up to $375,000 for the development of workforce and affordable homeownership projects across Minnesota.
  • $150,000 per year increase to the Home Ownership Education, Counseling, & Training (HECAT) Program which helps to prioritize decreasing the homeownership gap between white households and households of color.
  • Allows federally recognized American Indian tribes in Minnesota and tribal housing corporations to be eligible for housing grants in a natural disaster area
  • Requires the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to consider how quickly a project can be constructed when scoring projects competing for funds.
  • Establishes that cities may not require a Planned Unit Development (PUD) if the builder’s residential development already complies with existing city zoning requirements, and bars PUDs from including aesthetic mandates which are otherwise prohibited by law. Simplifying and making it easier to build homes will help increase the supply and lower the costs of homes in our state. 
  • Ban municipalities from enacting rent control.