Changing the Conversation About Housing Affordability

Housing is at the center of many conversations these days. But what we often see addressed is the shortage of what is commonly referred to as “affordable housing,” such as section 8 or low-income. The real challenge we face is much greater than meeting the needs of any single segment of the population. What we need to explore is how to make housing affordable for everyone.
Housing is a person’s single most important – and often greatest – expense. When anyone is spending more than 30 percent of their after-tax income on housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development considers them “cost-burdened” and recognizes that they may struggle to afford the necessities such as clothing, food, transportation, and healthcare.
But when people have a secure, affordable place to call home, they can focus on raising their families, being good students or workers, and giving back to the communities in which they live. We need to offer diverse housing options in locations that meet the needs of everyone – whether they are a single young professional, a growing family, or a recent retiree. We need to develop housing policies that make it feasible for people at any age, income level, or stage of life to secure housing that is considered “affordable.”
Rochester is growing and, with that, comes changing community needs, but these concerns are not unique to Rochester. Governor Dayton recently created a Task Force on Housing to help address the issue statewide, and they are seeking input from people like you. Take a few minutes to visit the website, review the ideas shared thus far, and share your reaction.
Let’s work together to ensure everyone has an affordable housing option.