MHP announces 2021 Outstanding Advocates!

MHP is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2021 Outstanding Advocate awards! These awards recognize community members and selected organizations for demonstrated dedication to affordable housing. During 2022 session, these advocates engaged their elected officials, motivated others to advocate, and raised the public profile of affordable housing issues. They shared personal and professional experience to further MHP’s policy agenda and secure more resources for affordable housing.   

MHP’s work would be impossible without the partnership of these outstanding individuals. We’re incredibly grateful for all the ways in which they used their voices, ingenuity, talent, and resources to draw attention to housing as a critical public issue. These awards are a small gesture in appreciation of big contributions! 

2021 Outstanding Advocates!

Pam Kramer, Formerly LISC Duluth

Pam’s strong leadership over many years has advanced MHP’s policy goals and built political will for housing solutions at the local, state, and federal levels. Time and again, Pam engaged directly with lawmakers on housing priorities, building knowledge and support for the Minnesota affordable housing tax credit, local housing trust funds, and more. Pam has also been a central organizing force within her community of Northeast Minnesota and Duluth, working with elected officials, housing advocates, business and community leaders to support housing priorities. With Pam’s efforts playing a key role, the City of Duluth is launching a local housing trust fund, with funds dedicated to housing. MHP thanks Pam for her partnership and congratulates her on her legacy of housing achievements for the State of Minnesota. 

Metric Giles, Community Stabilization Project

Metric championed many organizing, research, and advocacy efforts in partnership with MHP in the past year, including as a guest speaker at MHP-sponsored events. He has provided crucial expertise in developing a narrative and policy advocacy strategy that centers experiences of renters, people of color, and those marginalized by structural racism. Metric is a co-leader of the Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network) (MMAHEN), of which MHP is a member, using that platform to develop a statewide network of organizations at the intersection of energy and housing. He is a core partner with MHP in federal advocacy efforts, through the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign. In 2021, Metric worked with MHP to develop a report on energy efficiency impacts for multifamily buildings, a publication already of note to lawmakers, program staff, and media. 

James Archer 

James has contributed to MHP policy development as an engaged member of MHP’s Public Policy Advisory Group in 2020 and in 2022, influencing MHP’s policy agenda and criteria assessing race equity impact for policies. James has contributed to administrative advocacy efforts, including for the QAP, with insights on changes that better support small, emerging, and developers of color as competitive for funding applications. James also used his knowledge as a developer of affordable housing to engage with legislators through direct lobbying, working with MHP to advocate for housing infrastructure bonds and the Challenge Fund. 

Chris Sherman, Sherman Associates 

Chris has been critical to many MHP campaigns, influencing policy development with examples and experiences as an affordable housing developer, direct lobbying, and testifying at the legislature. As a leader in the campaign for 4d reforms, Chris compellingly testified about the importance of this finance tool to households and the ability it gives developers to prioritize affordable housing projects. Chris’ contributions have helped develop political will at the state level for housing policy and influenced administrative decisions on the QAP and more. Finally, as a developer, property owner, and manager with experience in energy efficiency programs, Chris contributed essential feedback to MHP’s 2022 report on the impact of energy efficiency requirements for multifamily buildings.  

Dayna Norvold, Rice County Habitat 

Dayna was critical to MHP’s success in advocating for a state match fund for local housing trust funds. For years, Dayna has been a champion of local housing trust funds, educating her local community, city elected officials and program staff, and state lawmakers on the importance of dedicated funds to housing. At MHP’s request, Dayna has engaged in direct lobbying of state lawmakers through in-person and virtual meetings, explaining the impact and benefits of local housing trust funds to achieving local housing priorities. Dayna has also helped MHP develop community connections in the Northfield area and contributed to policy development as a participant in the rural development workgroup hosted by MHP. 

HOME Line 

HOME Line is recognized as providing essential support to renters and advocating for prevention of evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a vital partner to MHP, HOME Line has contributed to policy development, organizing, and advocacy activities including federal advocacy with the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, providing eviction data and strategic advice as part of the ERASE campaign, and participating as a core leader in the campaign for source of income protections against housing discrimination. Throughout the pandemic and continuing today, HOME Line has provided statewide leadership with educational programs on landlord-tenant law and Governor Waltz’s housing-related peacetime emergency and negotiating the bi-partisan eviction off-ramp to protect renters from eviction.