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Stability Starts with a Place to Call Home
Ramsey County will provide access to housing options for all residents, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness, by effectively coordinating efforts across county departments and service teams, those impacted, and community-based organizations to provide safe, healthy, stable and accessible housing for all.
Why this is a priority
Safe shelter is a basic need. Without stable housing, children, adults and families face significant challenges to their wellbeing and will not thrive. Region-wide, lack of affordable housing and increasing rents make it difficult for more residents to secure stable housing, especially those with low incomes, mental health and substance abuse issues, unemployed or underemployed, or other barriers such as prior involvement in the criminal justice system
Building on previous work and lessons learned
Housing stability for our residents has been a focus of Ramsey County for the last decade, but progress and coordination across stakeholders has been difficult to achieve. Building on the work of the Interdepartmental Housing Council, in 2019 an interim manager of Housing Stability was appointed to increase responsiveness and improve service coordination. The 2020-2021 budget included an initiative to effectively address homelessness by reducing the fragmentation in our current system through reorganization. Within the Economic Growth and Community Investment Service Team, a new Housing Stability Office will be established to consolidate all county housing services (demand side) and the housing infrastructure functions (supply side) will be integrated into the Community & Economic Development Department; this restructure has a January 2021 target implementation date.
Ensure racial equity and shared power with community is applied
Discrimination and racism in the private sector housing market and public policies contribute greatly to the current inequity in housing status in the county and nationwide. Racial disparities are even greater when poverty rates are disaggregated between people of color and non-Hispanic whites. Recognizing the need for greater system reform to achieve housing stability for all, we must work across the county and with external partners to identify and eliminate barriers to housing. A focus on racial equity must be integrated more effectively in all the work being done.