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The latest from Alliance Housing

Rooming Houses Regain Legitimacy Through City and County Policy ›

Alliance Housing’s policy advocacy work had some successes this past year.  In some ways, the pandemic has provided more access to elected officials by video chat and more focus on tenant protections.  Minneapolis Councilmember Cam Gordon saw the value of single room occupancy (SRO or to us sleeping rooms) from a cost perspective and as part of the housing puzzle almost immediately upon learning about them from Alliance Housing.  He was already a fan of shared housing having passed the intentional community legislation to address some challenges of student housing in the University neighborhoods.  Councilmembers Cam Gordon, Jeremy Schroeder and Lisa Goodman convened a study group of industry professionals and City staff and crafted a new ordinance that once again allows new SRO rental licenses in Minneapolis within certain parameters and management.  They had been banned for 15+ years after a lot of trouble with poorly managed properties. Tandem to the City of Minneapolis efforts, Hennepin County staff also took on advocacy of SRO housing policy as a value added to the area’s housing supply.  Julia Welle Ayers, a Housing Development and Finance Director in Hennepin County’s Housing and Economic Development... Read More ›

New Members of the Team Ready for the Future ›

The more things change, the more they stay the same and build for the future.  We’ve mentioned pending staff transitions over the past year.  Bob Bono, 20+ year property manager, has reduced his time to 3 days per week and will fully retire in the next 6-8 months.  He is focused on preparing Tiffany, Samantha and Gus to carry on the “Alliance way.”  Barb Jeanetta, Director, will retire by June 30, 2022.  The board has a recruitment and hiring process underway. When Alliance Housing looks for new staff, we look for people that “get” our tenants – either through personal experience, work experience or personal attributes.  The mechanics and law of property management can be taught and learned.  Tiffany Simmons joined Alliance in October 2020.  She had previously worked at Better Futures MN with men coming out of prison.  She took on many roles there, including assisting with lease-up of Great River Landing, a new residence built by Beacon Interfaith Collaborative for Housing for men coming out of prison – including the Better Futures participants.  Alliance hired Tiffany to manage its housing funder compliance reporting and to lease up and manage... Read More ›

New properties, new tenants, same mission . . . ›

A million dollar gift from an anonymous donor made Alliance’s dream come true to make more affordable rental housing available by increasing its scattered site housing portfolio.  The donor was introduced by a volunteer/donor/colleague and immediately liked Alliance’s management style and ability to finance its properties in a way that allowed very low income households, many needing a 2nd chance, to create a home for themselves. Over the last 1 ½ years, Alliance has purchased two properties with the anonymous donor equity and a small mortgage from Sunrise Banks.  Sunrise Banks helped Alliance finance some of its very first properties in South Minneapolis and made a mortgage loan based on a long time relationship – both in banking and lending.  In the future, Alliance plans take-out the equity and loan dollars with government soft debt and have capital to invest in additional properties. We’ve previously reported on the purchase of 3416 Park Avenue from Park Avenue United Methodist Church in June 2020.  It is a stately Victorian building that we’ve completed a significant facelift on with new siding, porch repairs and a full paint... Read More ›

Alliance Housing’s 30th Year Anniversary Celebration ›

Alliance Housing’s board of directors hosted an evening event and fundraiser on September 30th to celebrate the organization’s 30 years of mission focused work.  Friends, family and colleagues seemed pleased to celebrate the legacy of Alliance and its promising future as well as enjoy each other’s company.  Most had had limited social engagements over the last 1 ½ year due to the pandemic. President Ben Olk III welcomed the crowd and put Alliance’s housing portfolio in the context of the City’s affordable housing shortage and cost crisis.  He did a brief tribute to Executive Director, Barb Jeanetta, who had announced her retirement as of June 30, 2022.  Jeanetta summarized Alliance’s housing portfolio, recent acquisitions.  Some of the year’s policy wins included the City of Minneapolis ordinance that allows new single room occupancy licenses, an issue Alliance had advocated for, for many years. As usual, the highlight of the event was testimony of Alliance tenants – this year provided in video format.  Yolanda Drew was able to move to a studio apartment at Hiawatha Commons after enduring the behavior of a drug addicted roommate and her friends.  Yolanda’s... Read More ›

Meet our residents

Home Provides a Sanctuary During These Unsettled Times ›

Everyone has been affected by the events of this year – the pandemic, civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, economic upheaval, the list goes on. Alliance Housing serves very low-income people who have been hit even harder than many of us. Our older and disabled residents... Read More ›

The Kenwood Residents Meet Minnehaha Commons Residents ›

On a recent wintry day, residents from the Kenwood Retirement Community visited Alliance’s Minnehaha Commons. The Kenwood residents brought many products of their labor – hand-knit scarves, hats, and dishcloths, and a handmade fleece pillow for each of the 44 residents. The four Kenwood visitors were part of... Read More ›