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Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) has received a crucial grant to assist rural and Native leaders in solving housing and economic development issues in their communities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grant program (RCB) will provide $1.7 million to continue MHP’s important technical assistance and capacity-building work. 

The award will fund MHP’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, which gives leaders the tools and knowledge they need to identify and address regional development needs through strategic collaboration. 

In rural and Native communities nationwide, there’s a significant gap between the supply of affordable housing and the number of people who need it, and a pressing need to address economic and community development challenges. Providing resources and guidance to local and Tribal governments and other rural housing development organizations has proven an effective model of helping local communities address these needs.

Itasca County Housing Institute team gather for a photo. Pictured left to right: Victor Moen, Diane Larson, Amanda MacDonell, Dana Herschbach, Lorna Mix, Isaac Meyer, Audrey Moen, Sherry Shadley.

"Without the RCB support and funding we would not have been able to move forward with two major initiatives for our agency, our community and the people we serve,” said Audrey Moen, Director of Housing for Northland Counseling Center (NCC). With MHP’s assistance and RCB funding, NCC was able to fund an Itasca County housing market study which led to the development of new affordable housing units and the conversion of existing housing units for low income occupancy.

The impact of the technical assistance from MHP and funding from HUD “gave a strong message to our community leaders that MHP cares and is concerned about rural Minnesota’s needs,” Moen said. “Our commissioners, city officials, and community leaders were impressed by what MHP -- under the RCB assistance -- has been able to support.”

She added, “MHP is an important stakeholder in what can and does happen for our area.  We are fortunate to have Minnesota Housing Partnership’s expertise and involvement.”

“Minnesota Housing Partnership is ready to put this funding to work immediately in rural and tribal communities,” said Anne Mavity, MHP’s executive director. “We are thrilled that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has committed these funds to help our communities thrive.”