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Established in 2010, the MHP’s Housing Institute brings together housing leaders and stakeholders in Greater Minnesota to share their experiences, learn best practices, and develop creative solutions to bring quality affordable housing to their communities. MHP is excited to launch the 2020-21 cohort on July 28 with 5 teams from southern Minnesota: Lanesboro, Preston, Dodge Center, Fairmont, and Lewiston.

COVID-19 has created new circumstances but local housing needs remain. In fact, these needs have been amplified in many rural Minnesota communities. MHP is committed to provide the necessary support to help community teams develop the strategic focus to implement specific housing projects or programs to address challenges in their community. MHP staff provide technical assistance to Housing Institute participants to help build collaborative community-based teams, consider existing community assets, find financial resources and networking opportunities setting the stage for successful project/program implementation. 

The success of the Housing Institute model can be seen in communities across Minnesota. Itasca County’s Beacon Hill project got a boost from the Institute in 2013 when regional collaboration and MHP resources helped secure what was needed for 48 units of affordable and supportive housing. Swift County’s participation in the 2019 Housing Institute helped pave the way for a $500,000 grant to rehab aging housing stock. Becker County was able to turn a homeownership dream into a reality thanks to participation in the 2018 Housing Institute

“Over the past ten years, the Greater Minnesota Housing Institute has generated impact by helping teams realize their community housing goals through peer-to-peer learning and through deep collaboration with hundreds of local organizations and agencies,” said MHP Community Development Director Warren Kramer. “Funded through a HUD grant, this year our team has worked creatively and persistently to provide teams with a comparable experience entirely online. We look forward to serving this years’ participants.” 

Housing Institute Fast Facts:

  • To date the housing institute has served 136 members over six cohortsThe program is designed to build the capacity of local housing leaders and stakeholders by: working collaboratively to address needs, sharing team experiences, learning best practices, developing creative solutions to bring quality affordable housing to their communities and forming enduring relationships. 
  • Even though the bulk of activities will be completed through virtual and remote engagement, our program design remains as collaborative and locally engaged as ever.  
  • 5 teams participating in this 2020-21 cycle make this our biggest cohort yet. 
  • Successful online formatting could mean the potential to expand the institute outside of Minnesota for more peer-to-peer exchange opportunities for rural communities across the United States.