Prosperity’s Front Door released the
2021 Minnesota’s Housing Scorecard
on Tuesday, March 23rd.
Check it out here!
We’re all in this together.
Our network of housing advocates is working to ensure everyone in Minnesota has a place to call home. We know that a safe and stable home is the foundation for individual, family, and community well-being and opportunity. We invite all public, nonprofit, and private sector leaders to join forces and meet this challenge head-on. The time is now to build a housing system that works for all people and a Minnesota where everyone can prosper and thrive.
Housing instability and homelessness are being exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, a serious blow to our social and economic stability. Everyone deserves a place to call home. Now more than ever, we must all work together to ensure critical, urgent needs are met and the system works for everyone.
Three urgent things we need to focus on now:
- Make sure everyone can afford to keep their home
through this crisis, whether they rent or own.
- Keep building all types of housing so Minnesota does
not fall further behind in its shortage.
- Protect the most vulnerable people in our state by
ensuring safe, stable housing with rapid, consistent delivery of critical
support services, and continued connection to community.
Systemic racism exists throughout the housing system. Our work to promote housing solutions outlined in Minnesota’s Housing Task Force Goals and Recommendations includes ending racial disparities in housing and closing the large gaps in homeownership, housing stability, and homelessness that exist between Black, Indigenous, and people of color households compared to white households.
Prosperity’s Front Door joins Minnesotans and stands with community demanding justice and ending historic, systematic, and pervasive racial discrimination in our state and nation – once and for all.
Click to read the Op Ed commentary “Statewide View: Time running out on Minnesotans facing housing instability” authored by Emily Larson, mayor of Duluth/member of the Governor’s Task Force on Housing; Acooa Ellis, senior vice president of community impact for Greater Twin Cities United Way/co-chair of the task force on housing; Chad Adams, CEO at Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership in Slayton/member of the task force; Skip Duschesneau, president at D.W. Jones in Cloquet/member of the task force; Harry Melander, president of the St. Paul-based Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council/ex-officio member of the task force; and Paul Williams, president and CEO of the Project for Pride in Living/member of the task force.
(Published by the Duluth News Tribune on September 2, 2020)
Click to read the Op Ed commentary “the close connection between health and housing is explicit in this moment”authored by Jeanne Crain, president and CEO of Bremer Financial Corporation and served as co-chair of Minnesota’s Housing Task Force; Warren Hanson, president and CEO of Greater Minnesota Housing Fund; and Dr. Craig Samitt, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
(Published by the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 7, 2020 and shared across Minnesota.)
Click to see thefirst-ever Minnesota’s Housing Scorecardexamining our state’s progress on key housing measures. (Released February 2020.)
Everyone deserves a place to call home.
Prosperity’s Front Door is Minnesota’s statewide network of business, government, community and nonprofit leaders focused on housing issues in our state.
It is time for housing to be made a top priority in our state. Minnesota’s housing community is on the front lines supporting people and families experiencing homelessness, housing instability, evictions and foreclosure as people face challenges of job loss and income reductions. Housing is essential infrastructure and it’s critical that we keep building an affordable and diverse inventory of homes in communities across the state.
We believe what the data (and history) tell us. Minnesota’s long-term prosperity hinges on our commitment to ensure access to that prosperity is available to all. Our work will be done when the housing system works for everyone and every Minnesotan has a place to call home.
Grantee Spotlight – Construction Revolution!
We are pleased to support the work of Construction Revolution, including their Summit in September, 2019. The Summit brought together leaders from across Minnesota to explore emerging breakthroughs and innovative construction techniques in residential development and construction, including the use of modular and panelized elements, and to develop an action plan to accelerate the use of these approaches in Minnesota.
Read the Executive Summary and Full Construction Revolution Summit Report and Action Plan issued in June, 2020. Minnesota faces a significant housing shortage – 300,000 homes needed by 2030 (identified as part of the Minnesota Housing Task Force Goals) – yet the residential construction industry faces major obstacles to meeting that demand:
• Housing costs are rising, driven in part by construction costs
• Construction industry productivity has been nearly stagnant since the 1970s
• 90% of builders report difficulty finding skilled labor, a challenge expected to worsen
Offsite construction has long been viewed as a transformative innovation, and there are reasons to believe that its time has come. Around the world, the use of offsite techniques has begun to unlock significant benefits in residential construction. Early benefits are proving to be substantial:
• Schedule compression
• Cost savings
• Sustainable design opportunities
• Workforce development opportunities
Adopting offsite construction in Minnesota will require shifts from all sectors, Offsite construction is an integrated model of production and the transformation to offsite will require shifts from every sector. At the Summit, participants explored key barriers to overcome:
• Offsite manufactures
• Developers and contractors
• Architects and engineers
• Local officials
• Labor and workforce
Next steps for a system-wide revolution To reduce the cost of housing, the Construction Revolution has set an ambitious vision: By 2025, 10% of multi-family residential developments in Minnesota will meaningfully use advanced, offsite construction techniques.
At the Summit, participants contributed to an action-planning workshop and identified five cross-sector actions to make this vision a reality:
1. Launch multi-sector innovation cohorts to explore the potential and challenges of offsite construction techniques in actual projects.
2. Develop and promote learning opportunities to highlight Minnesota’s progressive building standards and inspections process for offsite construction.
3. Foster local collaboration to develop a fast-track or pre-approval process for projects using offsite concepts.
4. Incentivize a series of pilot projects using offsite construction through a public-private partnership request for proposals.
5. Attract new modular manufacturers and investors to Minnesota through a robust economic development campaign.
Many of these recommendations are already underway. Contact CR at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved, or check out their website (constructionrevolution.io) for updates and resources.
Grantee Spotlight – zAmya Theater!
We are pleased to highlight zAmya Theater, a unique creative process that brings together homeless and housed individuals to create and perform a theatrical production. zAmya turns “homeless” from a word back into a person. Or persons. Living, breathing, laughing, singing persons. Who act — yes, act — in entertaining, genre-defying productions that are guaranteed to change your mind, if not your life. zAmya Theater believes that theater can change the narrative of homelessness.
Their performances grow from stories lived by participants and crafted by their core artistic members. They share them because they know that if we want to unravel crisis, then we have to unravel the story. Informed by the experienced advocates and direct service providers, zAmya is led by professional artists, and employs a group of actors who’ve experienced homelessness to create the plays, co-facilitate workshops, and guide the direction of the company.
zAmya is a Sanskrit word that means “aiming at peace.” For zAmya, aiming at peace means aiming toward a community with safe, stable, affordable housing options for all.
zAmya Theater was founded in 2004 by Minneapolis citizen Lecia Grossman. Lecia wanted to learn about homelessness working “with” people, not “for” them. With support from theater professionals and homeless advocates, she devised a process for bringing homeless and housed together to create theater, learn from one another, and share with the broader community
Through captivating performances and creative collaboration workshops, zAmya builds understanding and connection between citizens who have experienced homelessness and those who have not.
All sectors, communities and regions have a role to play.
Prosperity’s Front Door is drawing attention to what housing solutions look and feel like, while championing those who made these solutions realities. We:
- Convene diverse stakeholders across regions, sectors, and communities.
- Amplify their expertise and successes through digital storytelling and publication of an annual Scorecard measuring progress toward the six goals identified by Minnesota’s Housing Task Force.
- Cultivate and develop the next generation of affordable housing champions through strategic grantmaking, outreach, and resource sharing.
We’re not there yet, but solutions are within our grasp. Minnesota’s housing community is working to create and sustain an affordable and diverse inventory of homes in communities across the state.