More affordable housing options would have communitywide benefits
As a social worker and licensed alcohol and drug counselor, I have concerns regarding the lack of affordable housing in Minnesota. I work with many patients who struggle to financially support themselves, more specifically, to find housing they can afford.
The Star Tribune reported nearly every county in Minnesota is experiencing a severe shortage of rental properties that low-income families can afford. Minnesota Housing Partnership reports, in 2013, one in eight families in the Twin Cities area paid more than half of their income for housing alone. This scarcity of affordable housing is forcing many families to make difficult choices as to which necessities to pay for each month. The lack of affordable housing also may be keeping people in unhealthy living situations or relationships due to the lack of places to go.
I believe if there were more affordable housing available, individuals would be more likely to make the community their long-term place of residence. This would lead to placing their children in local schools, getting involved within community activities and filling available jobs. Ideally, these individuals would also benefit by being able to save some of their income to get ahead. I feel this could be very advantageous for local community members and businesses.