- Created: Friday, 21 October 2016 10:23
- Written by Carolyn Szczepanski
In April 2015, Janet Troutman-Simmons got news she could only describe as “devastating.” Along with scores of other seniors, the 89-year-old St. Paul resident faced the prospect of having to find new housing when the owner of Como By The Lake decided to discontinue acceptance of Section 8 vouchers.
Determined to save their homes, Troutman-Simmons and other tenants mobilized — and, with the help of advocates and private sector leaders, they brought in Aeon, a developer committed to keeping the building affordable.
“We were not folks looking for a handout, but people who had worked all of our lives in jobs civic and social, teaching and service, manufacturing and farming, educating our children while providing homes and, yes, paying our taxes,” Troutman-Simmons said last week. “At the end of the day there is just not enough money for a fancy retirement. And the country is full of such folks who deserve to live in decent, affordable housing.”
Recognizing the growing need for affordable housing in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton joined Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal at Como By The Lake — the community Troutman-Simmons and her fellow tenants fought to preserve — to announce the latest round of funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency this week.