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Advocacy Updates – May 2024

SPAAR - 05/16/2024

East Metro News

  • Saint Paul must spend $6 million in uncommitted tax increment finance dollars on real estate development by December 2025 (subscription).
  • Saint Paul's Housing and Redevelopment Authority has launched a rental rehab loan program for landlords in the City.
  • Saint Paul has recently changed Concordia Ave back to Rondo Avenue (subscription).
  • In Saint Paul and Ramsey County, property values are returning to pre-pandemic rates (subscription).
  • Saint Paul's iconic downtown buildings, 1st National Bank Building and U.S. Bank Center, are being sold with eight other properties.

 

South Metro News

  • Inver Grove Heights, South Saint Paul, and Savage are all dealing with higher than normal levels of radium in the water supply.
  • Eagan will see new housing and industrial space at the former Thomson Reuters campus in the City.
  • Northfield has been named on of the best places to live in the United States (subscription).

 

North Metro News

  • Columbia Heights has passed a point of sale ordinance that requires a sewer inspection and a structure inspection. For more information, visit the City's website. The ordinance goes into effect on May 22, 2024.
  • Roseville and other Twin Cities metro cities have plans to increase the metro's biking infrastructure (subscription).
  • Lino Lakes is seeing both support and disapproval in the City surrounding a major development that is planned to be a Muslim-focused community.
  • Stillwater is planning to remake the new Saint Croix River waterfront with multiple projects under consideration (subscription).
  • Blaine has begun planning a $750 million downtown development near the National Sports Center.

 

West Metro News

  • The Minneapolis 2040 Plan is back in action after a Minnesota Court overturned an injunction.
  • Minneapolis is beginning to examine tenant protections including rental protections, eviction diversion and prevention, and anti-displacement (subscription).
  • Crystal Mayor has expressed frustration about the Blue Line Light Rail extension design plan.
  • Richfield has identified a need for more affordable housing, larger units, and investment in the City's corridor ( subscription).

 

Minnesota News

  • Minnesota Housing's First-Generation Homebuyer Loan Program is a down payment and closing cost loan for first-generation homebuyers. The program offers loans up to $35,000. Find out how to help your clients.
  • The Minnesota Legislature is unlikely to pass the "Missing Middle Housing" bill, which would create statewide zoning rules allowing for higher density due to lobbying from local city governments.
  • The Minnesota House passed a tenants' rights bill to protect undocumented renters and domestic abuse survivors.
  • Minnesota salaries aren't keeping up with housing costs, according to the Minnesota Housing Partnership. Minnesotans need an annual income of over $90,000 to afford a median-priced home.

 

Nationwide News

  • The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) chief economist, Lawrence Yun, has stated that there's "no way" home sales can remain historically low for much longer.
  • NAR has urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to revise its policies pertaining to fees with VA home loan benefits. This is among other NAR advocacy wins.
  • NAR has released a new podcast called "The Advocacy Scoop" so members can stay up-to-date on what's going on in Washington, DC.
  • NAR and coalition partners have launched a Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus to address the issues of affordability and inventory.
  • Nationwide, the cost of buying a home just hit an all-time high, even though rental prices are down.

 

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Advocacy Updates go out monthly via the SPAAR Advocacy Report. If you're not receiving the advocacy report and would like to, email spaar@spaar.com.

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