Minnesota Housing Partnership Receives $2 Million Federal Grant to Assist Rural and Native Communities

One of just four organizations nationwide to receive funding, Minnesota Housing Partnership has received a $2 million federal grant to help rural and Native leaders solve housing and economic development issues in their communities.

The award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 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. While this represents the sixth consecutive year MHP has received this funding, it is the largest award yet, more than doubling the grant award from 2016.

Photo: MHP will provide technical assistance to Thunder Valley CDC, which serves the Oglala Lakota in South Dakota. 

“HUD is committed to delivering housing solutions to underserved rural populations throughout the country, from producing more affordable housing to boosting job growth,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “This funding will help these communities obtain sustainable housing and resources for their residents.”

“The Strengthening Rural Communities program is all about equipping local organizations to implement projects or access new resources,” said Anne Mavity, MHP’s Executive Director. “Our Community Development Team has worked with communities across the nation — in all 10 HUD regions — to provide communities with the needed tools to address challenges and open doors to new opportunities long after their engagement with MHP.”

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.

The award will enable MHP to work with as many as 25 organizations in rural and tribal areas nationwide to improve access to or expand funding resources, build capacity to develop or preserve housing, and increase economic opportunities. For instance, MHP will assist South Dakota-based Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation with the development of 14 units of single-family housing — as part of the innovative Regenerative Community project serving the Oglala Lakota people.

MHP will also provide technical assistance training through its groundbreaking Housing Institute and Native Community Development Institute models, which fosters collaboration among teams of regional leaders to address pressing community development issues. Teams participate in peer-to-peer learning retreats and receive customized assistance from an MHP Community Development staffer to accomplish a team-identified project.

“Through the Institute model, we bring together people who have never met to work collaboratively to address housing or community development issues in their region,” said Barbara Dolan, MHP’s interim Community Development Director. “It’s highly rewarding work for all involved. With this HUD funding, we’ll be able to do so much more to support rural and Native communities nationwide.”

MHP is accepting applications for technical assistance through the Strengthening Rural Communities Program.

Stay tuned for a video explaining the assistance MHP provides through Strengthening Rural Communities!