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A Budget that Values Affordable Housing

 

Communities across the Twin Cities region are struggling with rising rents, tight vacancy rates and high home prices – putting the squeeze on individual households and putting at risk our collective regional competitiveness. The Family Housing Fund recognizes that a single tool or approach alone will not solve these complex problems. We work with leaders and communities, using every tool possible to make quality, affordable housing accessible in every community.

In his first budget address, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter yesterday proposed a substantial investment in housing production, preservation and protection. We commend the Mayor for making housing the centerpiece of his budget. His proposal includes a new Housing Trust Fund supported by a $10 million initial investment followed by ongoing annual investments in future years to support homeowners and renters alike. Specific components include:

  • New housing units for households at 30–50 % AMI (or $28,300 – $47,150 for a family of four)
  • Preservation of existing federally-assisted subsidized housing and naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH)
  • Expanded tenant protections to address the disparate impact of some tenant screening practices along with administrative tools to minimize tenant displacement in cases where housing quality is compromised

The July 2018 report Market Watch: Saint Paul, published by the Minnesota Housing Partnership, highlights trends impacting Saint Paul residents. The report noted that 59 percent of the almost 60,000 renter households in Saint Paul earn less than 60 percent AMI and yet their rents are steadily rising. These statistics were echoed in the stories that the Mayor heard from residents, who listed affordable housing as their highest budgetary priority for the city.

In his remarks last night, Mayor Carter explained that, “We have to think of the budget not as a numbers document, but as a values document.” His proposal for substantial housing investment shows that he hears his constituents and understands the real pain that many in the city are experiencing due to the lack of affordable housing. We stand ready to support him in making Saint Paul a city where all residents can thrive.

FHFund Welcomes New Board Members

At the Family Housing Fund’s (FHFund) 2018 Annual Meeting on April 12th, the Board of Directors elected new officers for the upcoming year. All elections and appointments embody the strong public-private partnerships necessary to meet the FHFund’s vision that all families have a home they can afford and a place from which they can prosper and contribute to the larger community.

Jim Roth, Executive Director of Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, was elected to a new one-year term as the Chair of the Board. Roth has served on the FHFund Board since 2011.

Jennifer Anderson, President and Chief Financial Officer at Community Reinvestment Fund, was elected as Vice-President/Treasurer.

Kristin Beckmann, former Deputy Mayor of the City of Saint Paul, and George Stone, former Director of Minnesota CSH, were elected as Vice-Presidents. Miko Salone, FHFund Office Manager and Executive Assistance, was reelected as Secretary, a nonvoting role.

The Board also elected two new members: D’Angelos Svenkeson, Vice President of Thor Development, and Jonathan Weinhagen, President & CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Board recognized Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal’s appointment of Amy McCulloch, Deputy Director at Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Twin Cities LISC) for a four-year term and George Stone, former Director of Minnesota CSH, for a three-year term.

The Board and staff gratefully acknowledged the contributions of three departing members. Charles Hanley, Vice President/District Manager at U.S. Bank, left the Board after 12 years of service. Andriana Abariotes, Executive Director of Twin Cities LISC, left the Board after nine years of service. Senta Leff, Executive Director of Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, left the Board after three years of service.

The Family Housing Fund can have up to 24 members. As a supporting organization of government, the FHFund Board is made up of both elected and appointed members. The FHFund Board elects eight members. The City of Minneapolis, City of Saint Paul, Metropolitan Council, and Minnesota Housing appoint four members each. The Board recognizes these appointments. This unique structure positions the FHFund with the broad support and expertise necessary to help communities meet their affordable housing needs.

For more information and a complete list of members of the Board of Directors, please visit www.fhfund.org/staff-board.

Find a pdf of this announcement here.

April 19th, 2018|FHFund News|

Request for Qualifications

In working with partners to support the preservation of low-cost rental housing and the protection of its residents, the Family Housing Fund has identified the need in certain situations for quality, cost-effective building administrators and receivers in the Twin Cities region. In issuing this Request for Qualifications, the Family Housing Fund seeks to develop a list of administrator firms highlighting key experience and areas of expertise. This list may serve as a resource for the Courts, local governments, and other housing stakeholders. Inclusion on the list will in no way imply an endorsement of any firm.

Please share this RFQ with qualified firms and encourage them to apply. Minimum qualifications and submittal requirements are provided in this document. The deadline for submittals is April 30, 2018.

Review the Request for Qualifications.

March 19th, 2018|FHFund News|

The Family Housing Fund has moved … and we have a new image!

We are excited to roll out our new logo and we look forward to welcoming you into our new space.

You can now find us in the Flour Exchange Building:
310 4th Ave South, Suite 9000
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Visit our contact page for directions and parking information.

Executive Staff

Ellen Sahli linked in copy
President
ellen@fhfund.org | 612-274-7689

Colleen Ebinger linked in copy
Vice President
colleen@fhfund.org | 612-274-7691

Staff

Sarah Berke
Program Officer
sarah@fhfund.org | 612-274-7690

Eric Gustafson
Program Officer
eric@fhfund.org | 612-274-7692

Bill Mask, CMA
Finance Director
bill@fhfund.org | 612-274-7693

Miko Salone
Office Manager & Executive Assistant
miko@fhfund.org | 612-274-7688

December 18th, 2017|FHFund News|

MPHA & FHFund team up to explore regional approach to housing vouchers

Possible partnership among metro housing authorities would mean greater mobility, opportunity, and choice for low-income families

The Family Housing Fund has awarded $300,000 over two years to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) to explore how the region’s public housing authorities can work together to provide metro-wide mobility for families with housing vouchers (also known as “Section 8”). The “Regional Mobility Initiative” will involve planning and coordination with partner PHAs, policy and operational changes, and a long-term research component to track outcomes for families.

“The structure we have in our region—with separate public housing agencies all administering their own vouchers—creates barriers for families seeking different neighborhoods and greater opportunity,” says MPHA Executive Director/CEO Greg Russ. “The core idea is to discover how agencies in the Twin Cities can collaborate to increase the ‘choice’ in the Housing Choice Voucher program.”

The initiative will become part of a national research collaboration called “Creating Moves to Opportunity” (CMTO). CMTO is a partnership of housing practitioners from 17 housing authorities and academic institutions including Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and the think-tank MDRC. Through this research partnership, Stanford economist Raj Chetty and his collaborators have found that younger children of voucher-holding families who move to low-poverty neighborhoods experience long-term improvements in education and income, along with near-term improvements in health and safety. The Twin Cities Regional Mobility Initiative will also seek to integrate researchers from the University of Minnesota to maximize local insights.

“The Regional Mobility Initiative continues to build on the dedicated work of the Family Housing Fund and collaboration among many partners that seeks to expand access and choice for families in our region,” says Family Housing Fund President Ellen Sahli. “We are pleased to be partnering with MPHA, area HRAs, and landlords on this innovative approach. This is one of a number of initiatives that we have supported with area PHA/HRAs that puts choice and opportunity at the forefront.”