Sold Out, a report released this month by MHP, analyzed more than 1,000 apartment property sales in the Twin Cities metro region over the past decade. One trend to emerge: higher income households are driving the rental market — putting many low- to moderate- income renters at risk of displacement. One such renter was Vicki Olson, who had to leave her apartment of 13 years when a new owner raised rents. Karlee Weinmann interviewed Olson for MHP’s report.
For Vicki Olson, the sale of her apartment complex to a new owner meant more than the loss of her longtime home.
After 13 years, she could no longer afford to live at Meadowbrook Manor in St. Louis Park, setting off a chain reaction that forced her to move into a new community, look for a new job, and rebuild her life at age 51.
Olson left Meadowbrook at the end of May, splitting time between her mother’s one-bedroom apartment in Fridley and her father’s house in Brooklyn Park until she finally found an apartment in Mound for a July move-in.
While the Mound apartment solved one problem, it opened another. It extended Olson’s commute to her call center job in Hopkins from three miles to 30 miles — too far, she said, to justify the trip for the long term.
This month, MHP celebrated the six year anniversary of the Housing Institute with our partners at Greater Minnesota Housing Fund — and rural housing leaders from across the state. To mark the milestone, we examined the evolution, successes and impact of this transformative program in a new white paper: "Building Community Through Collaboration." Click here to download the full paper; keep reading for an excerpt on the impetus and structure of the Institute.
In many regions of rural Minnesota, there’s a significant gap between the supply of affordable housing and the number of people who need it. In 2010, the Minnesota Housing Partnership, with key support from the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF), created a new program to close that gap through collaboration and capacity building.
In just six years, the Housing Institute has proven a team-driven model can make all the difference in turning aspiration into action, and visions for community development into reality.
When the Housing Institute was launched in 2010, Minnesota was in the throes of the economic crisis. Like so many other states, it was hit with a wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies among developers. But that blow compounded challenges rural communities had faced for many years.
Rural areas already struggled with limited funding for rehabilitation of existing housing or the construction of new housing. Applying for state and federal funding, which includes complicated processes and regulations, was difficult for the small number of public servants who juggled many responsibilities. And, adding urgency to equation, many units of affordable housing built in the 1980s using federal funds were quickly reaching the end of their mortgage terms, opening the door to convert affordable units to market rate.
In response to these pressing factors, the Housing Institute was created to bring together housing leaders and stakeholders to share their experiences, learn best practices, and develop creative solutions to bring quality affordable housing to their communities.
Last week, MHP released a new report examining more than 1,000 apartment property sales in the Twin Cities region over the past decade. Sold Out reveals that a hot rental market is putting many metro renters at risk of displacement — and includes the experiences of renters like Bernard Campbell, a former tenant of the Crossroads at Penn (now Concierge Apartments) in Richfield.
Bernard's story was reported by Karlee Weinmann.
Marriage and homeownership were at the top of Bernard Campbell’s to-do list until the Crossroads at Penn complex in Richfield changed hands.
The deal, he said, pushed his priorities out the window. Tripped up by more stringent requirements for renters at the complex, imposed by its new owners, Campbell and his fiancée had to set aside their plans in favor of finding new housing. Now, they’re trying to be patient while they reconfigure their future together.
During its September meeting, the board of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) covered a range of topics including cultural competency and cost containment measures within the organization. The board granted concept approval of awards to two nonprofit housing financing programs, and $1.6 million in Housing Counseling (HECAT) Funds, which support homeowner/homebuyer education.
MHFA also approved the 2017 Affordable Housing Plan, which outlines priorities for MHFA efforts. The agency expects to lend more than $1 billion in support of these efforts over the course of the program year, which began October 1.