“What were we worried about?” is what affordable housing developers tend to hear from community members once they meet their new neighbors and see a housing development completed. But getting to that point requires developers first to build relationships and engage communities in smart conversations about affordable housing.
At a recent MHP Investors Council event, developers shared their perspectives on gaining public support for affordable rental and ownership housing in suburban communities.
Many readers may be aware that the October Minnesota Housing Finance Agency board meeting is typically when most of the state’s multi- and single-family housing development awards are made. This year, the board endorsed a historic $162 million in awards. At the meeting, the board was also briefed on: state funding for 2015; updates to the homeless information management system; and national awards made to the Agency.
Last month, the US Census Bureau released data from the 2013 American Community Survey, the best regular source of housing data available for Minnesota. MHP staff sifted through the data, looking to discern what changed and what remained the same for housing in Minnesota. The data suggest a few slight improvements between 2012 and 2013,* but longer term trends are sobering. In 2013, conditions remained difficult for renters, and lower-income renters in particular. Housing disparities for owners, among the worst in the nation, also persisted.
The analysis below gives more detail for understanding the latest in housing data for Minnesota.
Last week, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency awarded $162 million for housing development, which will touch 4,000 Minnesota households. Each will benefit from rehab or new construction of a safe, secure place to call home. This award package gives us many reasons to celebrate, both for the people who will benefit and for all the advocates and legislators who championed Homes for Allto make a bigger pie.
We also want to take stock of our work ahead -- for every dollar awarded there were almost two dollars' worth of requests that were left unfunded.
Read on for background and analysis of the awards to help inform our work going forward.