Hundreds more people who have disabilities and are experiencing homelessness will be able to find safe, affordable housing in the metro area, through new vouchers available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The region’s three largest public housing authorities will have 239 additional housing vouchers for people who have a disability and are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. The Met Council's Metro HRA will receive 67 of those new vouchers.
A housing voucher provides rent assistance, allowing people who have low incomes to afford a housing unit on the open rental market. The voucher fills the funding gap between what the person can afford to pay and what rent costs. Vouchers are portable and can be used with any participating landlord.
Metro HRA works with the other large regional housing authorities in Minneapolis and St. Paul to assure people have access to a safe, stable home.
“That’s what it’s all about,” said Metro HRA Director Terri Smith. “Working collaboratively with partners to break down the barriers that keep people from finding safe, affordable housing. None of us can do this alone, and we’re not going to stop until nobody is sleeping outside.”
Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung in Saint Paul is home for some residents who rely on the vouchers. The name means “Good New Home.” At an event Thursday at this new housing complex, local, state, and federal officials highlighted the importance of a safe, stable home to every other aspect of a person’s life.
“Everything starts with a home,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Employers don’t succeed if their workers can’t afford to live near their jobs. Communities don’t prosper when there is housing insecurity. And kids don’t thrive in school without a home in which to do their homework.
“Every person deserves a safe, reliable place to call home,” she said.
Resident Eugene Ivy, who just moved into an apartment in the building, talked about how important it was that he continues to receive support services, like computer literacy training, in addition to his apartment. “It’s really affordable,” Ivy said. “Once you get in, they actually expose you to more things they can help with.”
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