Minnesota lawmakers aiming to address worker exploitation in affordable housing construction projects receiving public funds

Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)

(St. Paul, MN) -- Minnesota lawmakers are working on ways to improve housing access across the state, with some DFL members placing their focus on worker exploitation in affordable housing construction projects.

Rep. Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield) and Rep. Nathan Coulter (DFL-Bloomington) spoke in a press conference on Thursday. The law places wage and safety requirements on contractors receiving Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), and Tax Increment Financing (TIF). 

“Minnesota faces a substantial housing shortage, with Minnesotans across the state struggling to find a home to rent or buy. In our all-hands-on-deck efforts to build more housing, we cannot look the other way when the workers constructing these homes are exploited and put at risk,” said Rep. Howard. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant, which is why our legislation would require transparency and accountability from developers. We must not allow public dollars to go towards the abuse of workers.”\

“When used well, TIF can be a powerful tool to generate development and redevelopment where they are most needed. Our communities need tools like TIF to encourage economic development, but that should not come at the expense of workers’ livelihood or their lives," said Rep. Coulter.

Lawmakers highlighted a report which claims there is an increasing trend of theft and exploitation among some contractors receiving public funds for housing projects. Click here for a one-page summary.

You can read the bill by clicking here