ST. PAUL (April 22, 2014) — Since late February, the State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans has focused a significant amount of our time working with Rep. Clark on House File 2112.
This bill, when it was introduced this session, asked for $50 million to be allocated to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (to then be given to providers and nonprofits that work with culturally diverse groups of people) for the purpose of assisting members of these cultural groups and American Indians with the opportunity to become homeowners through more accessible mortgage financing and enhanced financial capacity training to increase probability of successful homeownership.
If this bill were to be successful, cultural community members would have access to long-term education services and wrap-around services that have historically resulted in sustainable affordable housing opportunities for culturally diverse groups.
If success, H.F. 2112 would allocate out of this $50 million an amount for the purpose of helping nonprofits to build capacity to provide the specified services to the communities they serve. Our Council has worked hard to make sure that the language of the bill ensures that our emerging communities (and therefore, the API-led nonprofits that work with and for them) are not left out or behind.
Our Council took the lead in asking Senator Foung Hawj to be the chief author of this bill in the Senate. Since its first hearing, our Council has been an active and constant presence and advocate for our API community, on behalf of our families.
In its journey to become law, we had to amend H.F. 2112 and make some compromises along the way. Where we are now, H.F. 2112 is simply policy language that will put into law the policy language for Minnesota Housing to provide the specified services to cultural communities. This is not a loss; those of us at the forefront see this as part of the process we must take to address homeownership disparities at the policy level.
Rep. Clark (the chief author in the House), Senator Hawj (chief author in Senate), and our Council need you to help us help our legislators pass H.F. 2112, even if it is just policy language without the original ask of $50 million. To do this, at this time, we must have the support of Senator Hayden in the Senate.
State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans