In July, I shared a message with you about media coverage of Seasons Park residents’ concerns. Recently, a follow-up story was published in the Richfield Sun Current. It highlights repairs we’ve made, ways we’re engaging with residents, and how we’re building partnerships with community organizations and police. You can read the story here.
We still have more work to do. We will make more improvements at Seasons Park in 2019 and continue to build a stronger community with residents and partners. As I said in July, we are committed to making and keeping Seasons Park a place residents are proud to call home. We’re grateful for all the ways our partners and supporters – each of you – make this work possible.
Thank you for your continued partnership!
July 31, 2018
You may have seen an article in the Star Tribune last week about concerns from residents and the City of Richfield about Seasons Park Apartments. Aeon took ownership of Seasons Park in September to keep rents affordable for residents and prevent 422 families from being evicted. We have kept that promise, but there is a lot more work to do. As a partner with us in this work, I want to share more information about what we need to do to ensure Seasons Park is a place where our residents are proud to make a home for themselves and their families.
Seasons Park Apartments was in poor condition when Aeon purchased it. The City, residents and our investment partners knew it. Every dollar Aeon uses to keep apartment homes affordable comes from the community. These funds come from local government, county government, state government, the federal government, foundations, nonprofit partners and generous individuals like you. It is Aeon’s job to show the power of quality affordable homes to improve lives and communities so that appropriate levels of capital are raised. So far, the City of Richfield has provided some funding. All other government agencies have expressed interest. I remain confident that our government partners WILL help, and the tools available to support affordable housing will evolve to keep up with the need for Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) acquisition and the improvements those properties need. We will continue to work with our partners to raise the money we need to fix the problems at Seasons Park.
We have completely renovated 42 of the apartments, and next we will be renovating laundry rooms and addressing the backlog of maintenance issues. We have also been working with a civil engineer to fix grading issues to prevent flooding in basements and we will repair the damage caused by past water issues. We have spent significant money to fight the pervasive pest issues at Seasons Park, but we have not won that battle yet. We treated every single apartment in mid-June and have continued weekly treatments since then, which eliminated pests from 75% of the affected apartments. The weekly treatments will continue.
Aeon has a resident feedback system, called MyHome, where residents can submit questions or feedback in any language. Messages are reviewed by Aeon leadership and residents receive responses in their preferred language within two working days. We are taking additional steps to improve two-way communication with Seasons Park residents about their concerns and our plans for improvements. In June, we launched a monthly resident newsletter that is available online and in print in English, Spanish and Somali. We have also begun hosting regular resident meetings. The first meeting was held July 25, and the next meeting will be in late August.
Aeon is a tool for the community. Your support has emboldened us to tackle challenges and innovate new solutions. We know that if Seasons Park had been sold to a market buyer instead of Aeon, the rents today would likely price out almost all of the current residents. You have helped us keep these 422 homes affordable for residents – thank you! But we have more work to do to bring Seasons Park Apartments up to Aeon’s standards for quality affordable homes.
We are committed to seeing this through. This is our work. Until then, we are grateful to you for your trust, your dedication to building a stronger community, and your compassion for the residents at Seasons Park. We believe they deserve better and will not give up on making their dreams of home possible with Aeon.