$50 million signed into law to prevent family homelessness

Governor Walz recently signed into law a bill that provides $50 million to prevent family homelessness. “We are facing a housing crisis in every corner of our state, and too many families in communities large and small are facing the threat of eviction from their home,” said Sen. Lindsey Port. “Keeping Minnesotans in their homes will give them the stability they need in their lives to succeed.”

The funds expand the existing Family Homeless Prevention Assistance Program (FHPAP), managed by Minnesota Housing and administered by 20 counties, Tribal Nations and community assistance programs and their subgrantees, provide coverage across the state. The program typically distributes $10 million in state appropriations per year.

“We have never funded this program at a level anywhere near commensurate with its need,” says Rep. Michael Howard. Minnesota Housing program staff state the program is currently able to serve about 10% of those eligible for it. “The need is so great that our administrators typically run out of funds the first week of each month,” says Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho. “With the $50 million we’ll be able to serve another 20,000 families. That’s tremendous.”

Existing program administrators will be eligible to receive further funds to distribute in their communities based on their organizational capacity and regional need. Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s budget recommendations includes an additional $50 million increase in FHPAP for 2024-2025, and both the Senate and House proposed budget bills include additional funding for the next two years.

Minnesota residents experiencing a housing crisis may be eligible for help with their rent, utilities or other housing costs if their income is at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines. Those interested in applying are encouraged to reach out to the administrator in their region.