Our Approach

The law is a powerful tool for individuals and communities seeking housing justice if they have the support of people who know how to use it.

HJC uses a range of strategies to push for the protection of tenants facing displacement or discirmination, the production of more affordable housing by combating barriers to the creation of affordable housing in communities across the state, and using both federal and administrative processes to preserve subsidized and unsubsidized affordable housing.

Legal Advocacy and Impact Litigation

Effective legal advocacy can be something as small as writing a demand letter to an agency pushing them to enforce their own administrative rules, to pursuing litigation to uphold both local and national laws, enforce fair housing and affordable housing planning requirements, and to challenge NIMBYism by local groups opposing affordable housing. 

More than $2 million in new federal housing resources every year in the state of Minnesota are a direct result of HJC’s legal advocacy work. Additionally, HJC’s legal advocacy has led to more than $5 million in one-time federal funding invested in Minnesota over the past five years.

Policy and Coalition Advocacy

The rights of renters are only as strong as the law and administrative rules that support these rights. HJC works with our coalition partners on the local, state, and national level to advocate for policy changes that will protect the rights of people who need affordable housing, expand the supply of deeply affordable housing opportunities, and preserve critical affordable housing resources. 

HJC has been a part of developing major state level policies, including statutes related to the preservation of federally subsidized affordable housing and protections for manufactured home park residents. On the local level, our policy advocacy efforts created a playbook for communities to address the loss of NOAH properties and protect displaced tenants. On the national level our work has unlocked $1.6 million in annual federal investment in Minnesota communities.

Research and Education

For 20 years, HJC has developed cutting edge research and strategies to address issues of affordable housing preservation, production, and tenant protection. We also strive to make the housing conversation accessible to community members and organizational partners so that more people can have a voice in determining what happens in their communities and who benefits from affordable housing investments. We do this by: 

  • Defining the problem and developing solutions 
  • Monitoring what is happening with subsidized housing
  • Demystifying housing so that people can be part of the discussion