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 the Central Minnesota Builders Association emphasizing the importance of the day and what it means for the industry.

“This is shaping up to be a truly meaningful year at the legislature and it is more important than ever that we stand together as an industry,” remarked Art Pratt, 2024 board chair of Housing First Minnesota.

Welcoming remarks were followed by a brief market update from Kristen Ober, communications & industry content coordinator. The update gave attendees insights into key indicators like mortgage rates, homebuilding activity, and home prices.

Mark Foster, VP of legislative & political affairs, then walked through the slate of housing and industry-related legislation. He shared policies and bills focused on improving housing affordability and attainability. But he also discussed the many bills in the mix that would harm housing and increase the cost of housing construction and homeownership.

Then, a panel discussion featuring a bipartisan slate of legislators spoke about bills currently in play and housing priorities on the hill. The discussion. moderated by Housing First Minnesota CEO James Vagle, covered topics ranging from zoning modernization to labor issues.

Following the morning’s program, attendees headed off to have their voices heard as they met with their representatives to help advocate for their industry by asking legislators to keep housing as a priority for the rest of the legislative session.