Minnesota Realtors® Call for Action
The Minnesota Realtors® (MNR) put out a Call For Action last week. The Call For Action asks that you and other REALTOR® members contact your elected officials in St. Paul, that means the Governor, your State Representative and State Senator, and tell them to support Tax Forgiveness on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The legislation in the Senate is SF 263 with Senator Tom Bakk as Chief Author, and HF 501 in the House, Chief Authored by Rep. Paul Marquart.

Small businesses across Minnesota have been struggling for the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the federal CARES Act was passed, it established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to aid small businesses facing revenue loss during this time. If these loans were used for qualified expenses such as payroll, rent, employee benefits, etc., then the federal government would forgive the loan.

More than 100,000 Minnesota businesses participated in the PPP loan program. If Minnesota doesn’t conform, these struggling businesses will be burdened even further.

Please visit this link (Advocacy - Minnesota Realtors® [mnrealtor.com]) and send a message to your Representatives now, it doesn’t take long at all!

Minneapolis Rent Control
Rent control or “Rent Stabilization” is a government policy that limits the amount a landlord can charge for rent. According to a study by the Urban Institute, 182 municipalities in the U.S. have such a policy, all of which are in New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland, Oregon or Washington D.C. 37 states have measures that forbid rent control policies from being adopted, including here in Minnesota, with the caveat being that such a measure can be brought to the voters for approval.

This is what may happen in Minneapolis. The City Council is looking to implement a rent control measure, and in order to do so they need to amend the City Charter, which requires a vote from Minneapolis residents.

There are not many policies out there for which there is broad support or opposition from economists, rent control is an exception, they mostly agree that the benefits do not outweigh its consequences. The primary reasons for this are that rent control reduces the supply of adequate rental housing, investment in new rental housing development plummets, and maintenance deteriorates because the financial incentives to maintain a quality property are no longer present.

This move from Minneapolis is something to keep an eye on.

Check out the links below for more information!

East Metro News
  • A group of landlords is suing the city of Saint Paul, arguing a tenant protection ordinance set to take effect in March violates their constitutional free speech, due process, and property rights.
  • SPAAR has announced the Key Communities Program. The goal of the program is to build strong ties with communities in SPAAR’s 12-county jurisdiction. 
  • Roseville regulates short-term rentals; extends minimum stays and requires licensing.
  • Riversedge, bus and streetcar routes top list of Ramsey County’s legislative priorities for 2021.
  • Rondo Land Bridge makes $6 million pitch to Legislature for pre-design.
  • The Midtown Greenway is a 5.5-mile long former railroad corridor in south Minneapolis with bicycling and walking trails. In 2020, the Midtown Greenway expanded into Saint Paul with the help of a $2,500 donation from the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. SPAAR looks forward to a continued partnership in 2021.
South Metro News
West Metro News
North Metro News
  • Coon Rapids nonprofit wants a vote on changing city's name.
  • White Bear Lake nonprofit, Solid Ground, received $1.25 million grant from Bezos’ Day 1 Family Fund. Funding will go toward ending homelessness among families with children.
  • The Elk River Housing and Redevelopment Authority has purchased seven properties, demolished five of them and worked with a firm to move two of them for purposes of selling them.
  • Nonprofit, Settled, unveils designs for tiny homes to combat homelessness in Forest Lake, Maplewood, and Saint Paul.
State & National News
  • Minnesota housing market stays red hot in January. Home sales are up sharply, with northern regions posting largest gains. 
  • The Star Tribune has released the list of the hottest housing markets in the Twin Cities.
  • Housing groups, including the National Association of REALTORS®, are urging federal agencies to provide more information on the distribution of $25 billion in rental assistance under current COVID-19 relief legislation.
  • President Joe Biden is extending a ban on housing foreclosures to June 30 to help homeowners struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. 
The GADs Recommend
Even though the weather is slowly starting to warm up, SPAAR's Government Affairs Directors, Simon Opatz and Becky Wegscheid, think it's still a good idea to stay in the comfort and warmth of your own home! With that, we are recommending five great films that you should spend your time watching:

  1. Coherence: Eight friends get together for dinner while a comet is passing overhead. After a power blackout across the neighborhood strange events start occurring.
  2. The King: Hal, wayward prince and heir to the English throne, is crowned King Henry V after his tyrannical father dies. Now the young king must navigate palace politics, the war his father left behind, and the emotional strings of his past life.
  3. American Animals: Four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious heists in U.S. history.
  4. A Simple Favor: Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
  5. Knives Out: A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

We hope that these will keep you entertained as we count down the days until spring! Stay warm and healthy!

Member Updates
If you have an issue in your community that needs the attention of REALTORS® or if you have interesting advocacy stories to share, please reach out to Vice President of Advocacy & Community Engagement Joe McKinley or Government Affairs Directors, Simon Opatz or Becky Wegscheid.

The work of the REALTOR® Party relies on your investment in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).

Click here to learn about RPAC's non-partisan advocacy for homeowners and the real estate industry.
If you have friends or colleagues who would like this information, please share this email and encourage them to subscribe.