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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.”

FHFund Appoints Three New Board Members

At the Family Housing Fund’s (FHFund) 2017 Annual Meeting on April 13th, the Board of Directors elected new officers for the upcoming year. All of the elections and appointments embody the strong public-private partnerships that are necessary to meet the FHFund’s vision that all families will 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 three-year term and as the Chair of the Board. Roth has served on the FHFund Board since 2011.

Charles Hanley, Vice President/District Manager at U.S. Bank, was reelected as Vice-President/Treasurer. The Metropolitan Council appointed Hanley to the Board in 2006.

Senta Leff, Executive Director of Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless; Kristin Beckmann, Deputy Mayor – City of St Paul; and George Stone, Director – Minnesota CSH were elected as Vice Presidents of the Board. The City of Minneapolis appointed Leff to the Board in 2015; she Chairs the Resource Development Committee. The City of St. Paul appointed Beckmann to the Board in 2014; she Chairs the Nominating Committee. Stone has served on the Board since 2005 and was elected to a new three-year term at the Annual Meeting.

Miko Salone, FHFund Office Manager and Executive Assistant, was reelected as Secretary, a nonvoting role.

The Board also elected Doug Van Metre, Lead Regional Credit Officer at Wells Fargo, to a new three-year term. Van Meter has served on the Board since 2014.

The Board also elected two new members: Jennifer Anderson, Senior Vice President and CFO at Community Reinvestment Fund, and Nichol Beckstrand, President at Sunrise Banks.

The Board recognized Metropolitan Council Chairman Adam Duininck’s appointment of Gail Dorfman, Executive Director of St. Stephen’s Human Services, for a three-year term.

The Board and staff gratefully acknowledged the contributions of three departing members. Maureen Warren, Vice President and Chief Family Services Officer at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, left the Board after nine years of service. Warren had served as the Board Chair since 2011. Paul Williams, President and CEO at Project for Pride in Living, Inc., left the position of Vice President of the Board after 16 years of service. Peter Lindstrom, Mayor of Falcon Heights, left the Board after three years of service.

The FHFund Board 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 St. 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 our Staff and Board page.

April 18th, 2017|FHFund News, Press Release|

New Realities for Minnesota’s Tax Exempt Bonding Authority for Housing

On March 2, 2017 the Family Housing Fund and Greater Minnesota Housing Fund hosted a forum with leaders of the affordable housing network to learn about the new realities that impact availability of federally authorized tax-exempt bonds in Minnesota. The discussion centered on a new proposal from Housing Advocates for Vitality and Equity Now (HAVEN) and how it could affect other housing resources.

Panelists Included:

  • Ryan Baumtrog, Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Minnesota Housing
  • Paul Sween, Managing Partner, Dominium
  • Owen Metz, Vice President and Project Partner, Dominium
  • Pam Wheelock, Chief Operating Officer, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Handouts from the forum:

March 2nd, 2017|FHFund News, Housing Policy|

2015 Annual Report

FHF_2015AnnualReport_050516_cover

The Family Housing Fund is pleased to share its 2015 Annual Report to the Community. Thank you to the staff, board of directors, generous funders, and partners that make this work possible.

 

Read the full report here.

May 6th, 2016|FHFund News, Report|