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For 18 months as part of MHP’s Housing Institute, teams of local leaders from three Minnesota regions have been working hard to advance a housing-related project to positively impact their communities. The 2018-19 Institute culminated in a final workshop in Willmar, Minnesota on May 14 and 15. 

Through workshops that provide peer-to-peer learning, presentations from leading experts, and custom support from MHP’s technical assistance team, the Housing Institute provides a platform for rural communities to tackle some of their most pressing housing needs. 

For example, during this round of the Housing Institute, the MNH3 team (New Ulm, Gaylord, Gibbon, and Winthrop) completed a regional housing website and a silly advertisement to promote it. Gaylord and New Ulm also created plans to support a flurry of new housing development. 

“We’re so proud of these teams for their continued engagement and dedication,” said Community Development Deputy Director Sarah Bellefuil. “They’ve learned new skills that will impact their communities well beyond the projects they tackled during the Institute.”

During the final workshop, the teams heard a presentation from Victoria McWane-Creek of the Minnesota State Community and Technical College on building respectful communities. MHP’s Barbara Dolan presented on a case study of a senior housing project. Elizabeth Glidden and Casey Lauderdale of MHP presented on local housing trust funds. Participants also viewed a performance by Zamya Theater entitled “A Prairie Homeless Companion,” which shines a light on homelessness in rural communities. 

On day two of the workshop, the teams pitched their projects to potential funders and considered what’s next. 

To learn more about the Housing Institute, contact Sarah Bellefuil, Community Development Deputy Director.