The high cost of housing is not a new problem, but it is one that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and its economic consequences. With a severe lack of housing supply and the eviction moratorium on the verge of expiration the problem of Housing Affordability needs to be addressed urgently.
The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® (SPAAR) has formed a Housing Affordability Task Force to join local efforts in identifying solutions to make housing more affordable and accessible.
SPAAR has and continues to engage the communities in our territory. Through its Government Affairs (GA) Committee and Committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), SPAAR has committed to making connections and supporting programs to build stronger, more vibrant communities. SPAAR has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to community grants and student scholarships via its Charitable Foundation, including more than $100,000 to Rondo Avenue Inc. and to help build the Rondo Center for Diverse Expression. SPAAR is dedicated to improving the communities our members live and work in.
The Task Force is made up of SPAAR members including both Realtors® and lenders, as well as SPAAR staff members. Together, they represent a diverse collection of voices and perspectives who share a key understanding: a shared knowledge of the current challenges of Housing Affordability and the significant impact on families and individuals in our communities.
The members of the Task Force are engaging in critical thinking and thoughtful conversations, developing into a shared vision. To truly tackle this problem, we need to come together and implement a multi-pronged approach. Addressing Housing Affordability is not easy. Focusing on one short term solution distracts from a more holistic approach. The Task Force and SPAAR are eager to work with stakeholders in the community to find equitable and effective solutions to this serious issue.
To date, the Task Force has researched local and national efforts to address challenges to housing affordability and engaged in critical conversations that examine solutions to the Housing Affordability problem from a variety of perspectives.
The goal of this task force is to develop proposals, both short and long term, to address the Housing Affordability problem and work with communities in our territory to implement them.
The Task Force will publish a document of strategies and proposals to tackle this issue in the coming weeks. In the interim, SPAAR members and staff are available for interviews.
To learn more about the Task Force, contact SPAAR’s Government Affairs Director, Simon Opatz, at firstname.lastname@example.org; to arrange an interview, contact SPAAR’s Communications Director, Jennifer Kovacich, at email@example.com.
SPAAR has 7,900 members within its 12-county jurisdiction.