Policy & Advocacy
Alliance Housing is active in policy advocacy with the interests of our tenants at the forefront of our involvement. Since 2015, Alliance has become more involved at housing advocacy tables, as well as vocally supportive of groups who advocate for and with the people most marginalized in our communities, whose work often aligns to better the lives of our tenants. Rooted in the belief that housing is a human right, our advocacy work is three pronged and keeps beat with our human centered approach to housing development and management.
1. Bricks & Mortar | Building More Affordable Housing
Alliance Housing feels the weight of the market-wide shortage of affordable housing through the number of calls we receive daily and the stories we hear from our recently-housed residents. A robust development and re-development of affordable units is necessary to ending homelessness. To ensure Minnesota and Minneapolis invest in affordable housing, we work alongside cross-sector organizations through the Homes for All Coalition and Make Homes Happen MPLS.
During the 2016 legislative session, Homes for All led a strong campaign for $130M in the State bonding bill, turning out hundreds for Homeless Day on the Hill. Due to political gridlock, a bonding bill was not passed during the regular session, however, advocates are still working to help get at least $45M included in the bill if a special session is held. The Make Homes Happen MPLS Campaign is actively building alliances across the housing continuum and garnering the strength needed to get sustained stream of funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
2. Access to Affordability | Lowering the Barriers
While money for housing is fundamental, we also are working to ensure that affordable housing is available for all. At Alliance Housing, we practice Housing First, giving people a chance regardless of their criminal, rental, or financial background. We are working to expand the housing market by increasing opportunities across the market for our current and prospective tenants.
During 2016, Alliance staff was invited to talk about this issue at several industry meetings, and a business model was drafted, and at least one public funder included a question in its RFP about “screening tenants in”, rather than out.
3. Opportunity for Stability | Supporting Agendas for Prosperity
Along with the priorities directly relating to housing, we know this alone is not enough. We recognize that our tenants lives won’t be stabilized without fair wages and dignified treatment in the workplace, rehabilitative justice systems, and access to programs and supports for mental health treatment.
During 2016, we worked with a group of high school students from St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community to identify the ways several issue-based campaigns, including the Working Families Agenda, affect our residents and other marginalized communities. We were vocal in our support of raising the minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, and various efforts for criminal justice reform across Minnesota.