Senator Draheim, Minnesota Senate Passes Legislation Prioritizing Housing Affordability and Homeownership

St. Paul—Today, the Senate passed the $115 million Housing Budget Bill focused on a more affordable path to home ownership, chief authored by Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake), Chair of the Housing Policy and Finance Committee. Senate File 969 focuses on housing affordability and closing the homeownership gap.

“Owning your own home has been proven to lead to more successful outcomes including, kids doing better in school, better mental and physical health, more community involvement, and greater generational wealth.  These are all things we strive for and homeownership is such an important piece of it,” Draheim said.  “I’m excited this bipartisan legislation will help to pave the way for homeownership to many Minnesotans by removing barriers and encouraging more diversity in the housing stock.”

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.