Center Urging State Leaders to Prioritize Homeownership Preservation in Pandemic Response

Bill Gray March 24, 2020

"Our communities will suffer if we don’t do everything we can to protect homeownership through this crisis."

The Minnesota Homeownership Center today joined with Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) in urging Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho to prioritize homeownership preservation in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our communities will suffer if we don’t do everything we can to protect homeownership through this crisis,” said TCHFH President/CEO Chris Coleman. As tens of thousands of Minnesotans face prolonged income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, foreclosures and the resulting need for family supports will increase.

We are jointly calling on state leaders to implement immediate solutions to protect homebuyers and homeowners, including:

  • Simplifying Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) funded down payment programs
  • Doubling funding for the Homeownership Education and Training (HECAT) program
  • Creating a grant pool and lines of credit to help stabilize non-profit developers

In addition, we’re requesting support for long term solutions, including:

  • Providing MHFA with a significant infusion of down payment assistance capital
  • Establishing a risk pool to incentivize lenders to adopt underwriting standards responsive to families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Continuing to fund HECAT
  • Stabilizing non-profit developers to ensure a healthy, affordable homeownership market

“We know the economic and social fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to evolve and will impact the mortgage landscape for the foreseeable future,” said Center President Julie Gugin. “What will help is if state leaders take planful, phased approaches to preserve affordable homeownership and ensure equitable access to homeownership. We urge them to protect homebuyers and homeowners now.”

Read the full press release here, and the joint letter to Walz, Flanagan and Ho here.

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