When reporting on affordable housing development, traditional media outlets often miss the opportunity to report the “story behind the story”— the narrative of the people who make development possible. MHP’s Impact Spotlight looks beyond the likely narrative of “units created” and “statistics show” to the stories of collaboration that make affordable housing happen.
MHP’s newest Impact Spotlight, released this week, features a team in Grand Rapids, Minn. and the collaborative inspiration behind Beacon Hill, a supportive housing development set to break ground in spring 2015. This development will fill a large regional gap in meeting the needs of those barred from traditional housing due to criminal records, substance abuse histories, or struggles with mental health issues.
The November Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Meeting covered topics ranging from staffing changes (though not in the Commissioner position), changes to eligibility criteria for the Step Up mortgage program, and budget proposals for next legislative session. A progress report on the 2014 Affordable Housing Plan revealed that the Agency is exceeding its goals for mortgages to households of color in 2014.
“What were we worried about?” is what affordable housing developers tend to hear from community members once they meet their new neighbors and see a housing development completed. But getting to that point requires developers first to build relationships and engage communities in smart conversations about affordable housing.
October 28 Investors Council
At a recent MHP Investors Council event, developers shared their perspectives on gaining public support for affordable rental and ownership housing in suburban communities.
Many readers may be aware that the October Minnesota Housing Finance Agency board meeting is typically when most of the state’s multi- and single-family housing development awards are made. This year, the board endorsed a historic $162 million in awards. At the meeting, the board was also briefed on: state funding for 2015; updates to the homeless information management system; and national awards made to the Agency.