Housing First Minnesota, the state’s leading voice for housing, has recognized Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) and Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL-Bloomington) as recipients of the 2022 Legislator of the Year awards. The honor recognizes legislators for their efforts in promoting housing affordability and homeownership opportunities for everyone, everywhere.
“As more Minnesotans struggle with housing affordability and achieving the dream of homeownership, Sen. Howe and Rep. Elkins have served as valuable voices for these homebuyers at the Capitol,” said James Vagle, CEO of Housing First Minnesota. “We applaud them for their diligent efforts to advance significant housing legislation during the 2022 legislative session.”
For many years, Howe has been a champion of the housing industry in St. Paul. As a building official, he acutely understands the obstacles that face the industry and homebuyers. During the legislative session, Howe was a leader in the local government committee, advocating for homebuyers and finding ways to reduce housing costs.
Late in 2021, Elkins introduced the most comprehensive housing legislation in decades. Among many things, his Housing Affordability Act would modernize Minnesota’s land use practices, stop mandates for luxury material upgrades, restore reasonable homeowner choice and end zoning by loophole. During the legislative session, this bill received multiple hearings in both chambers of the legislature. Thanks in part to efforts from Elkins, the cost drivers that go into building starter homes received more legislative discussion than the state has seen in many years.
The awards were presented to the legislators in October during Housing First Minnesota’s annual Building Industry Gala at Mystic Lake Center. The event celebrates the housing industry and recognizes industry members for their excellence in building and remodeling homes for Minnesotans.