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
HJC preserves affordable units in Willmar
Beginning in 2005, the for-profit owner of the Cardinals Apartments in Willmar, seven separate projects under the RD Section 515 program, sought to take the properties out of the federal program by engaging in an illegal end run around the prepayment process...
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.
Pushed out in the name of progress: Redevelopment in Rochester’s Destination Medical Zone displaces tenants
Rochester’s Destination Medical Zone (DMZ) has been hailed as a groundbreaking public-private partnership to redevelop downtown Rochester and solidify the Mayo Clinic’s position as a world leader in healthcare. Extensive development is now picking up its pace,...
HJC proposals to protect NOAH housing spur action
In 2016 HJC concluded that the threat to the Twin Cities’ supply of unsubsidized affordable rental housing, or NOAH as it is now known, needed greater attention. Although housing policymakers were largely focused on protecting and expanding the supply of...
HJC leads regional discussion among policymakers on NOAH preservation
In 2014, HJC co-authored a report titled “The Space Between," emphasizing the need for policymakers to pay more attention to the part of the affordable housing sector most low income households rely upon—unsubsidized but still affordable rental housing, or “naturally...
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.
The time for mobile home justice is yesterday
Disclaimer: manufactured home park pictured above is not the community mentioned in this post. This past winter, Housing Justice Center Community Organizer Teresa Garcia-Delcompare and attorney Shana Tomenes helped mobile home resident Anavela reach a settlement with...
HJC offers RentHelpMN assistance at Cedar Knolls
Over the last few months, HOME Line VISTA Tenant Organizer Teresa Garcia-Delcompare has been working in conjunction with Pueblos de Lucha y Esperanza and Housing Justice Center to organize in her manufactured home park community. This past weekend, several of her efforts came together in one large community event at Cedar Knolls…
Manufactured Home Park Residents Bid to Buy Their Community is Rejected, Leading to Lawsuit
The Lowry Grove Manufactured Home Park in St. Anthony Village, Minnesota, is something of a rarity. This 95 home community of mostly lower income residents, many of them Latino, is an example of very affordable housing without any public subsidy. It also happens to be...
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.
HJC Discovers Illegally High Rents
Working with HOME Line, HJC discovered that a prominent Twin Cities developer is charging tenants too much rent in an affordable tax credit building. Under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC), developers build...
HJC contributes to Third Circuit Decision Upholding Tenant Protections
Across the country, many privately owned HUD-financed affordable apartment complexes include partial or 100% project-based Section 8 contracts which provide rent subsidies for the lowest income tenants. When those Section 8 contracts come up for renewal,...
HJC works to expand choices for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders
There are few things more heartbreaking than when a family waits for years to get a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) but then has to give it up when they can’t find a landlord willing to accept a voucher. This is also a shame because Section 8...