Housing Institute

In many rural communities, there’s a significant gap between the supply of affordable housing and the number of people who need it. MHP’s Housing Institute closes that gap through customized curriculum, guided collaboration, and capacity building for a variety of community stakeholders.

Established in 2010, the Housing Institute brings together housing leaders and stakeholders to share their experiences, learn best practices, and develop creative solutions for bringing quality affordable housing to their communities.

For more than a decade, the Institute has shown that engaging stakeholders in truly effective and meaningful partnerships is the key ingredient to completing short-term projects and sustaining long-term relationships that contribute to vibrant rural communities and regions.

Key Components of the Housing Institute

Team-based approach

Moving beyond individual leadership, the Institute relies on a team model that capitalizes on local expertise and resources. Participants form teams comprised of several entities in a region, often including city, county, HRA and EDA staff as well as other local stakeholders like local businesses and nonprofits, and school and healthcare administrators. 

Meeting to gain & share knowledge

To meet the needs of the participants, MHP customizes each Institute’s curriculum. Typical topics include: development process and planning, project financing, data acquisition, communications strategies, policy updates, community engagement, and more. The workshops provide opportunities for teams to learn from experts, and meet up with each other and other teams in the region.

Sustained pursuit of a specific project

Working together over an 18-month period, teams meet regularly to address a specific housing need or challenge in their community. Teams have worked together to pursue a variety of specific projects, including development of housing studies, websites, senior housing, workforce housing, supportive housing, single family rehab, and more.

Creating connections to achieve results

The Institute doesn’t just share knowledge—it creates relationships. In addition to assembling a team of stakeholders committed to a project, the Institute connects those community leaders to funders and developers who can help make it a reality. An MHP staff member also works directly with each team throughout the Institute, helping them maintain momentum and guiding them through the development process.

Check out a map of all of the communities we’ve served through the Housing Institute.

Interested in participating? Contact Harlan Buckalew, Community Development Officer, at 651.925.5536 or harlan.buckalew at mhponline.org.

MHP’s Housing Institute is generously supported by: