Advocacy Update – March 2020
March 23, 2020
COVID-19 and the potential impacts on the real estate industry are on top of everyone’s mind. This news is changing on a daily basis. We encourage you to stay informed so you can plan and implement changes to how you are doing business.
SPAAR will issue periodic updates on availability of Association services and how changes to state and local laws may affect your ability to do business. Please visit https://spaar.com/coronavirus-a-guide-for-realtors/ for the most current information.
2020 is a Census Year!
Response to the COVID-19 pandemic brings renewed awareness for public health and to government’s role in providing emergency services. Decisions on allocating funds for public services and determining funding for schools, hospitals, and fire departments are based, in part, on responses to the federal census. Every response to the federal census is important! We hope you’ll take time to read a few words from SPAAR President Patrick Ruble on the issue.
The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be the greatest challenge to your business in the weeks and months ahead. Real estate will be greatly impacted by efforts to limit coronavirus exposure, alongside local, national and international economies.
SPAAR’s Government Affairs Team will bring you information about proposed federal and state response to coronavirus. We may call upon you for support in advocating for programs designed to promote and stabilize homeownership and the real estate industry. Please contact SPAAR if you have questions or concerns.
South Metro News
- Developers of the planned downtown Northfield 79-unit Fifth Street Lofts project want a reduction in park dedication fees.
- Faribault’s Economic Development Authority has signed off on a request from a local businessman that could potentially pave the way for additional housing to accompany a new restaurant set to open by spring.
- The Rosemount Advisory Planning Commission approved the rezoning needed for Emerald Isle, a 151-unit, single-family development along with a 150-unit apartment complex.
- Cottage Grove mixed-use, walkable development would be among the metro’s largest.
North Metro News
- A county vs. city lawsuit over redevelopment of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant will resume, now that mediation talks between Ramsey County and Arden Hills have failed.
- City officials proposed a partnership with the Rondo Land Trust to build an affordable housing project in Shoreview.
East Metro News
- A sharply divided Saint Paul City Council voted to move forward with a citywide road repair plan that includes funding for deep changes to Ayd Mill Road.
- The Rice & Larpenteur Alliance is seeking individuals reflecting the diversity of people, businesses, and organizations in the neighborhood to serve on the Rice & Larpenteur Advisory Group.
- Last month, SPAAR wrote to the Hastings City Council in support of an annexation project that would develop 120 single-family and villa homes. You can read more here.
- Ramsey County to close government buildings for six days, retool for coronavirus.
West Metro News
- Affordable units now a requirement for new apartment buildings in Minneapolis.
- Controversy is brewing in St. Louis Park, where residents are upset over a city proposal to make way for a bike lane.
- A key Southwest light-rail line contract increased by $21 million due to numerous delays that have dogged the $2 billion project.
State & National News
- National Association of Realtors® President Vince Malta issued a statement after the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report warning America’s GDP growth is threatened by housing affordability constraints.
- Minneapolis and Saint Paul cannot force landlords to give new tenants city-approved documents instructing them how to register to vote, a federal judge ruled Monday.
- How competitive is the Twin Cities housing market? Only 3 in U.S. are tougher.
- Early in the morning of March 14, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6201 by a wide margin. It is expected to be taken up by the Senate early next week, with a number of major provisions affecting REALTORS®, brokers, and real estate associations.
Meetings & Events
If you have an issue in your community that needs the attention of REALTORS®, please reach out to Vice President of Advocacy & Community Engagement Joe McKinley or Government Affairs Director Khayree Duckett.
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