Filling a new role of Director of Strategic Initiatives and Policy, MHP has hired Elizabeth Glidden to drive the organization's policy and programs toward outcomes that improve the quality, affordability and availability of housing in Minnesota and beyond.
Elizabeth is a public policy professional and lawyer with more than 25 years of experience. Elizabeth served as Council Member for the City of Minneapolis from 2006-17 and Council Vice President from 2013 to 2017, working a wide range of housing issues including advocacy for state and local affordable housing policies, improving the Section 8 program, leading historic designation processes for projects associated with our past public policies of segregation and racial covenants, and advising on community development. Prior to her service on the City Council, Elizabeth represented individuals as an employment and civil rights lawyer for more than 10 years. Elizabeth is a 2013 Bush Fellow, focusing her fellowship on race-conscious leadership development for local elected officials.
“Elizabeth brings such depth and breadth of experience in policy," said MHP Executive Director, Anne Mavity. "She is naturally strategic and collaborative, and will continue MHP’s efforts to elevate the issue of affordable housing and identify opportunities to make a real impact throughout Minnesota.”
“I’m honored to join the respected team at MHP and ready to get to work as public momentum and need for affordable housing is at an all time high," Glidden said. "I’m excited to use my experience in local and state advocacy and policy making, building coalitions with private and public partners, and housing policy to drive bold change needed in funding and policy supporting stable housing for people across Minnesota.”
The 2018 state legislative session — beginning February 20 — is fast approaching, and Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) and our Homes for All MN partners are gearing up to advocate for investments, programs, and policies that promote safe, stable, affordable homes for all Minnesotans. Read MHP's 2018 agenda, which includes an innovative tax credit program to promote affordable housing development and an incentive for local communities to create local housing trust funds.
Next week, Homes for All MN will host three kickoff events across the state to energize advocates and jumpstart advocacy around the 2018 Homes for All legislative agenda. Minnesota Housing Partnership is proud to be part of Homes for All MN, a coalition of more than 170 endorsing organizations across the state representing nonprofits, service providers, affordable housing developers, faith groups, government agencies and more. Each year, Homes for All creates an agenda to mobilize advocates around key affordable housing goals at the State Capitol. Building upon the successes of previous legislative sessions — including securing $100 million in bonds for affordable housing in 2014 — Homes for All will advocate in 2018 for $140 million in bonds for housingand $10 million in appropriations. These investments will develop and preserve affordable housing, prepare workers for homeownership, enable local communities to address pressing housing needs, and more.
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.
Last month, that process concluded with a number of positive outcomes, most notably five significant agreements that will be advanced in the upcoming state legislative session. In addition, MHP will be continuing a conversation around an area that the stakeholder steering committee did not reach agreement: aligning those agreements with the state’s Qualified Allocation Plan moving forward.
“With such significant need and so many Minnesota families paying more than they can afford for housing, we need ensure that the resources we have are used in a way that provides the most impact, especially for those with the lowest incomes,” said Anne Mavity, Executive Director of MHP. “This process not only paved the way for more effective use of tax-exempt bonds, but convened the type of robust conversation and diverse input we need to come up with solutions that truly move the needle.”