Archive for December, 2022


Posted on: December 19th, 2022

Alliance Housing has 14 properties in South Minneapolis all of which have received property tax exemptions for the last 9+ years. These tax exemptions are a key component that allows it to keep rents affordable for low-income tenants. In 2019, Alliance’s re-application for property tax exemptions was denied by the City of Minneapolis. With the pro bono assistance of Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath, this decision was appealed. It is hoped that the court will reinstate the property tax exemptions during the first half of 2023. Thanks to Adam Pabarcus and Natalie Stubbs for their tireless work on this case.


Posted on: December 19th, 2022

In 1996, Greg suffered a gunshot wound to his spine that left him partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Greg’s life had been full of guns, drugs, and criminal activity. Greg came from Atlanta to Minnesota where he ended up in a shelter during COVID-19. While at the shelter, Greg worked hard to find a job, housing, and find long-term stability. However, with his criminal record, no one would give him a chance. Things turned around when he was approved for Supplemental Security Income, and his Case Worker was able to get him a single room at Alliance Housing’s 2011 Pillsbury building.

Greg said that, at age 54, his room at Pillsbury is the first time in his life he has ever had a lease. He feels that staff treats him well and help him when needed. When Greg moved into Pillsbury, the only unit open was the third floor. Greg said, “no problem. I want out of the Shelter—I can do this.” There is not an elevator at the Pillsbury building. With the sheer strength of his upper body, Greg got up the steps to his home. Months later he was able to transfer to the second-floor room and continued to get up those steps. Finally, this Spring, Greg moved into a first-floor unit.


Posted on: December 19th, 2022

Please join Alliance Housing’s staff in wishing Michael Bobick, our Caretaker and Maintenance technician, a happy 70th Birthday in

Michael is an example of Alliance’s mission at work. Michael has lived at our 2103 2nd Avenue building for 30 years, since before we even owned the property! He started working for Alliance in 1996 as a part-time Caretaker. Over the years this has grown into a full-time role that includes some maintenance responsibilities.

Michael’s story is like many of our tenants. As a young adult, Michael was working to become independent and support himself. He was struggling with alcoholism, which was pervasive in his childhood. He experienced homelessness as a young adult. Luckily, Michael found housing and soon employment at his 2nd Avenue address.

Michael likes making Alliance sleeping rooms feel like home for our tenants. He takes great care to manage our furniture stock to ensure tenants have what they need, particularly when moving out of homelessness into an Alliance home. Michael is also known for keeping flowers and plants in bloom at his home on 2nd Avenue and values changing the perception of housing for individuals moving out of homelessness. Michael is a key part of Alliance’s commitment to make it possible for individuals and families to create homes for themselves. Alliance is grateful for Michael, his strong work-ethic, and his commitment to our mission. Alliance is so lucky to have Michael on its team!


Posted on: December 19th, 2022

This spring, Tiffany Simmons, an Alliance Property Manager, helped a tenant move into one of Alliance’s buildings. This tenant knew exactly what he wanted to do first after settling into his room — take a nap. This seemingly simple act, resting, is difficult without a safe place to stay. And difficulty attending to basic needs such as sleeping, preparing food, and hygiene creates profound impacts on a person’s life.

The individuals and families Tiffany works with each have their own stories, but they’ve all experienced challenges finding housing in the Twin Cities. Alliance works to change that by building and maintaining housing that is affordable to the tenants, working with them as they transition into new housing, and advocating for policies that increase access. Alliance believes everyone deserves stable and quality housing.

Tiffany says the new tenant is now working and saving money. “To see where people started from, and where housing has given them stability to further some of the other goals that they have set, really makes me smile,” she says. After the first year, 56 percent of tenants who live in Alliance housing increase their income. Alliance’s focus isn’t just on financial return though, but also on the social and personal impacts stable housing creates in people’s lives.

Alliance is focused on people — not just meeting their individual needs, but also recognizing how they interact with systemic barriers. Rather than focusing on the difficulties tenants may have had in the past as the cause of their housing instability, Alliance looks at the structural barriers that exist in the market, such as large security deposits, denying housing based on criminal histories, and over reliance on rental histories. This gives Alliance a unique framework — moving away from the common concept of “low-income” affordable housing, and toward a “low-barrier” approach that reflects the organization’s responsibility to the community to provide housing that is affordable, accessible, and dignified.

Every other year, Alliance surveys tenants’ experiences living in Alliance housing and the global policies that affect their lives. Data from these surveys have revealed a nexus of needs that go along with access to a stable home, things like childcare, food access, and transportation. Although Alliance can’t provide services that address all of these needs, their relationships put them in a unique position. “Because we’re relatively small, we can really understand tenant stories and tenant experience,” says Jessie Hendel, Alliance Housing Executive Director. “We can then bring forward that direct experience into an advocacy role.”

Alliance’s advocacy work has shifted what low-barrier housing looks like in Minneapolis. One model of housing Alliance provides is single-room occupancy. This kind of housing often works well for people who have been living outside. “For somebody that never had housing, or struggles with housing, or struggles with chemical dependency, sometimes maintaining a whole studio is hard,” Tiffany says. Minneapolis ordinances once made it illegal to rent single occupancy rooms, but Alliance successfully lobbied to change that when they saw the model worked for so many people.

Tiffany has seen the long-term effects housing has for people, feeling secure in their housing and saving money helps residents imagine other possibilities for growth. She recalls the tenant she moved in last January, “You know,” she says, “he’s thinking about going back to school.” That’s just one tenant of many who came to Alliance searching for simple rest — and is now dreaming about the future.