Tackling the Affordable Housing Crisis: A Case Study

Complicated problems usually don’t have simple solutions. That’s why The Minneapolis Foundation looks for ways to address pressing issues from more than one angle, drawing from a diverse collective of voices and resources.  The affordable housing crisis is one of those issues.

So what are we doing about it? Well, lots of things—so many, in fact, that we wrote this blog post to break it all down. Our diverse investments in housing are a great example of how we look for opportunities to use all the tools in our toolbox to help build stronger communities. Take a closer look:

We are making strategic impact investments

In January, we stood up with a unique coalition of business, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners to announce the launch of a pilot program that will preserve 600 units of affordable housing in our community. Through our impact investing program, InvestMPLS, we teamed up with Sunrise Banks and others to finance the acquisition of existing rental properties, ensuring that they remain affordable for low-income individuals and families. This partnership represents an unprecedented step towards addressing the affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and we hope the model will be replicated across the country. Read more >

We are partnering across the state

All Minnesotans deserve a safe, warm place to sleep at night – and yet one painful slice of our community’s housing crisis is that not everyone has even this much. On any given winter night, more than 1,600 Minnesotans sleep outside – a figure that has doubled since 2015. As part of a larger strategy to connect people with long-term housing, Gov. Walz launched the Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative in December to immediately increase shelter capacity across the state. We contributed $50,000 to this initiative and have worked to get other partners on board. Read more >

We are responding to urgent needs

While most of us were waking up in our warm beds on Dec. 25, more than 200 individuals and families were awakened to a fire alarm at the Francis Drake Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. The building, much of which served as a temporary housing facility for people experiencing homelessness, quickly became engulfed in flames. We immediately activated an emergency response fund that enabled people and businesses across our community to pool their support for recovery efforts. Distributions from the fund began within 24 hours of its launch, and to date we have disbursed $589,000 to organizations that have been working directly with those impacted by the fire to find long-term housing solutions and achieve stability. Read more >

We make strategic grants

The OneMPLS Fund, a collective impact fund that is open for public support, builds on our strategic grantmaking by making more resources available to address emerging issues. The fund’s first grant round focused on stable housing for families and youth. Read more >