After more than 35 years in the field, Rosemary Fagrelius will retire from MHP at the end of this month. As the organization's Director of Community Development, Fagrelius has played a central role in the growth and success of MHP, elevating the organization as a sector-leading provider of technical assistance in affordable housing and community development, not only in Minnesota but nationwide.
"It's been an amazing 11 years here at MHP," Fagrelius said. "I've had the incredible opportunity to work in unique rural and Native communities in Minnesota and all over the country, and lead in the development and growth of a very talented and experienced MHP Community Development Department. I've also had the true privilege of support, guidance and friendship of so many others dedicated to this work, for which I'm so grateful. We often says this works takes a village — and most of the time it feels like it takes a team of villages. I know MHP will continue to provide excellent technical assistance and capacity building work into the future."
In her time at MHP, Fagrelius has drawn down millions of dollars in federal funds for MHP to assist communities in meeting local housing and community development needs; launched collaborative training models, like the Housing Institute and Native Community Development Institute; and secured MHP's reputation as a trusted expert and collaborative partner, especially in rural and Native communities.
"MHP was very fortunate to have a leader as talented and committed to strengthening rural and tribal communities as was Rosemary Fagrelius," said Chip Halbach, founder and Executive Director of MHP for two decades. "Caring deeply about people and organizations, Rosemary was able to inspire collaborative endeavors to improve the housing and lives of low-income people across the country."
"There are few people I know who have been as passionate about helping the people we serve as Rosemary," said Michele Smith, HUD Minneapolis Field Office Director. "Because of her tireless commitment to expanding affordable housing in Minnesota and in other parts of the country, countless numbers of families have been able to obtain quality affordable housing. It has truly been an honor to work with someone with Rosemary’s professionalism, compassion and drive. I, along with the rest of HUD, will miss her dearly."
MHP is currently seeking a new Community Development Director; the full description is here. During the search, Barbara Dolan — an MHP Community Development Manager, with more than 16 years experience in the housing sector — will serve as the Interim Community Development Director.