PRESERVATION

Fighting to save affordable housing for the people who need it 

Communities across the country are facing an acute shortage of affordable places to call home. Minnesota cannot afford to lose any affordable housing and so HJC has led the charge for 20 years to preserve every unit of subsidized affordable housing that we can. We also work to develop legal and financial strategies and policies to save unsubsidized affordable housing opportunities. Our work has saved over 5,000 affordable places to call home and resulted in changes to federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

We do this by working to preserve:

  • federally subsidized affordable housing
  • unsubsidized affordable housing
  • manufactured home communities  
  • policy advocacy on the state, local and national level 

Our Work in this Area

Unsubsidized Affordable Housing

In 2005, HJC began developing strategies to address the unique challenges of preserving this housing, including tracking and monitoring privately owned properties, developing programs to finance rehabilitation and preservation purchases, increasing the nonprofit capacity, and urging the adoption of government policies to preserve this often overlooked supply of low cost housing. We will continue to represent the current residents of threatened properties, using leverage provided by existing laws and negotiation with owners and developers.

Manufactured Home Communities

Manufactured Home Parks constitute the largest single source of affordable housing in the state, and without any public subsidy. However, with increasing property values and development pressures, parks are at risk of closure or conversion resulting in the displacement of the low income resident households, particularly in the Twin Cities suburbs. When parks close, residents are forced to find comparable housing in markets with affordable housing shortages, a situation likely to be exacerbated as housing programs shrink and costs rise. 

Federally Subsidized Housing

Affordable housing that serves the lowest income households is subsidized by the federal government, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to a lesser extent, the Rural Development Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Within HUD, the major programs are Public Housing, Multifamily Subsidized Housing, Project-Based Section 8, and the Section 8 voucher program. A substantial portion of these projects and units are at risk of loss, either because the units may be lost or, more commonly, the private owners of these units seek to convert their buildings to market rate rents.