• Housing issues discussed at the Capitol

    Housing issues discussed at the Capitol

    What bills did and didn’t pass the Minnesota Legislature this year? The Minnesota Legislature concluded its session on May 19 in a flurry of activity as lawmakers hurried to meet the deadline. In the final hours, Democrats assembled a 1,400-page bill to push through some of their key priorities, prompting strong objections from Republicans. Here…

  • Building permit lawsuits appealed to Minnesota Supreme Court

    Building permit lawsuits appealed to Minnesota Supreme Court

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a split decision in March in the legal challenge over building permit fees in two fast-growing communities, remanding the case to the Hennepin County District Court, but an appeal from homebuilders may send the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.  In the consolidated matters of Housing First Minnesota vs.…

  • Edina’s tree fee raises eyebrows

    Edina’s tree fee raises eyebrows

    Demand for five- to six-figure cash deposits for trees in Edina has sparked debate, casting doubt on the validity of the city’s tree protection ordinance. The required cash deposits can be held by the city for up to three years. Tree fees and deposits, which are not explicitly authorized in Minnesota, are enacted as part…

  • MPCA enforcement cases down in 2023

    MPCA enforcement cases down in 2023

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) closed 291 enforcement cases for water quality, air quality, waste, stormwater and wastewater violations in 2023. That’s down from over 400 enforcement cases in 2022. The highest penalty issued in 2023 for a construction stormwater permit was $52,378. Of the 291 enforcement cases, 71 of the penalties issued were…

  • Historic fundraising campaign fuels new housing initiative for Minnesota’s homeless veterans

    Historic fundraising campaign fuels new housing initiative for Minnesota’s homeless veterans

    The Housing First Minnesota Foundation and Lennar are taking a significant step toward ending veteran homelessness with the announcement of a Veteran Village project. According to the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs, over 200 veterans are currently experiencing homelessness throughout the state. The Housing First Minnesota Foundation, in partnership with Lennar and the Minnesota Assistance…

  • Legislature shelves housing bills

    Legislature shelves housing bills

    Despite support from a diverse coalition, legislation was unable to get across the line. The “Minnesotans for More Homes Initiative” was unveiled in February with the support of a bipartisan group of legislators and more than two dozen organizations, with the goal of expanding housing choices while encouraging more environmentally efficient, affordable and attainable housing…

  • The final sprint at the Capitol

    The final sprint at the Capitol

    The legislature has just weeks remaining before they are constitutionally required to adjourn for the year. Plenty of work remains.

  • Minnesota homebuilders continue to lead the nation in energy efficiency

    Minnesota homebuilders continue to lead the nation in energy efficiency

    According to Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), Minnesota has one of the lowest average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Scores of all states that energy tested more than 4,000 homes in 2023. The lower the HERS Index Score, the more energy-efficient the home is. According to RESNET, Minnesota tested 7,727 homes in 2023 and…

  • U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Ruling on Impact Fee Case
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    U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Ruling on Impact Fee Case

    In 2016, property owner George Sheetz bought a parcel of land where he hoped to place a manufactured home. Before Sheetz could get a building permit, the County conditioned approval of the permit on the payment of a $23,000 traffic impact fee. Sheetz sued, arguing the imposition of the fee sidestepped the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment…

  • Housing Industry Gathers to Advocate for Homeownership Opportunities

    Last week, nearly 100 Housing First Minnesota and Central Minnesota Builders Association members gathered in St. Paul to discuss the housing market and the obstacles the industry faces before they descended upon the Capitol to share those issues with their legislators. The event kicked off with a program featuring remarks from leadership from Housing First Minnesota and…