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Make Homes Happen Minneapolis

Article by Claudia Kittock

Joe Kreisman, head of Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness, is a tireless advocate. His creative approach to making sure everyone in Minneapolis has a place to sleep has given the city many innovative programs. The latest is Make Homes Happen, a grassroots coalition of organizations mobilizing for production and preservation of affordable housing and protection of tenants’ rights in the city of Minneapolis through education, advocacy, and public policy reform. This campaign builds on similar ones in cities across the country which include Washington D.C., Seattle, Denver, and many others. They have created or expanded local housing trust funds out of a growing concern that federal resources are limited and becoming unreliable.

As we all know, Minneapolis is growing, but that growth has not seen a concurrent growth in affordable housing stock which has decreased considerably since 2000. Make Homes Happen strives to provide choice and opportunity with a range of housing types and affordability across the full housing continuum. This will require various investments and tools from the City and its community partners.

Make Homes Happen proposes the City commit $50 million annually for ten years in new, local, dedicated revenue to produce and preserve affordable rental and ownership housing. These investments would be made with input from a community advisory committee that will include residents from low-wealth communities, communities of color, and other stakeholders.

We are a city with more renters than owners, and tenant protection and support are crucial for the future of affordable housing here. The city of Minneapolis plays an important role in influencing tenants’ rights, and needs to develop new legal protections to support renters while making investments in housing code enforcement. In addition to specific policies to prevent involuntary displacement and improve fair access to housing, the City needs to center tenant-focused improvements and investments in housing inspections as advocated by affected renters themselves.

Affordable housing is critical for the entire city, and we need your help to make sure it is a priority for the City Council and Mayor. We need to live in a city where everyone has a place to sleep at night. By signing on to the Make Homes Happen coalition, you are joining a city-wide coalition that’s working to ensure housing stability for all Minneapolis residents.

How can you help?
• Contact Rose Teng with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers at or 612-843-3270.
• Talk with your City Council representative and learn more about their stance.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).


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