Showcasing Success

In 2016, MHP celebrated the six year anniversary of the Housing Institute with our partners at Greater Minnesota Housing Fund — and rural housing leaders from across the state. To mark the milestone, we examined the evolution, successes and impact of this transformative program in a new white paper: "Building Community Through Collaboration." Click here to download the full paper.


The Housing Institute is generously supported by


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In many rural communities, there’s a significant gap between the supply of affordable housing and the number of people who need it. The Housing Institute, created by the Minnesota Housing Partnership, closes that gap through customized curriculum, guided collaboration and capacity building for diverse community stakeholders.

Established in 2010, the Housing Institute brings together housing leaders and stakeholders to share their experiences, learn best practices, and develop creative solutions to bring quality affordable housing to their communities. (Lodging, and food costs provided!)

Over the past six years, the Institute has shown that engaging different stakeholders in truly effective and meaningful partnerships is the key ingredient to completing short-term projects and sustaining long-term relationships that lead to vibrant rural communities and regions.

Key Components of the Housing Institute

Interested in participating? Contact Barbara Dolan, Community Development Manager, at 651.925.5549 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Housing Institute Success Stories

Creating a Full Spectrum of Senior Housing in Mora

Beacon Hill illuminates the power of collaboration

State Funds White Pine Apartments in Cloquet

Like so many communities, Mora, Minn., has a long waiting list to secure one of the city’s affordable rental units. But, in the East Central Minnesota town, a particularly vulnerable population makes up the majority of the list. Of the 208 families, 161 are adults over the age of 55.

“The waiting lists are so heavy with seniors that many of them aren’t living long enough to get to the top of the list,” says Rose Dunn, Executive Director of the Mora Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

The Housing Institute helped Dunn and other stakeholders envision and secure funding for Mysa House, a project that will add 24 units of critically needed senior housing to a burgeoning campus for older Minnesotans.

Read the full story.

In 2013, the concept for Beacon Hill was born when seven Itasca County leaders came together for the Housing Institute. Over 13 months, they didn’t just work diligently toward their goal to create 48 units of affordable family and supportive housing in Grand Rapid, Minn; they built the architecture of enduring partnerships that will benefit their region far into the future.

For Audrey Moen, Housing Manager at Northland Counseling Center, the impact of the Housing Institute could be summed up in six words. “Many hands make for light work,” she said at the Grand Opening. “That’s exactly what happened here. We had people from many different levels and many different areas making this dream come true.”

Read the full story.

In 2014, a regional housing study forecast the need for 260 new units of rental housing by 2025 in Cloquet and nearby Scanlon, Minn.

For Debra Shaff, Executive Director of Cloquet Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the news came as a challenge for her staff and board. "They were thinking, 'We don’t have tools, we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the expertise or the capacity,'" she recalls. So Shaff developed a local team for MHP's Housing Institute.

In 2016, the HRA received funding for White Pines Apartments, a 35-unit affordable housing complex that will provide both workforce and supportive housing in a community that hasn’t seen new construction in many years.

Read the full story.