Press Release

Affordable housing developer Aeon welcomes new Vice President of Housing Development

Aeon, a nonprofit developer, owner and manager of affordable homes in the Twin Cities is welcoming Blake Hopkins as its new Vice President of Housing Development. Hopkins joined Aeon in 2015 as a senior project manager on the housing development team.

Hopkins steps into his new role on Aeon’s leadership team at a critical time. Minnesota is facing an affordable housing crisis: Minnesota Housing Partnership’s “State of the State’s Housing 2017” reports that for every 100 extremely low-income renters in the Twin Cities, there are only 36 units of available housing.

To address this issue, Hopkins says Aeon and other affordable housing developers need to continue to use tax credits and other traditional financing tools, but should also compete in the marketplace to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing, or NOAH. Aeon, which currently owns 45 properties in the Twin Cities area, has already begun growing its portfolio through NOAH projects and has launched a social impact investing initiative to support these types of acquisitions.

“There are currently about 30,000 NOAH apartments in the Twin Cities, but we are losing them to market-rate developers every day. That, combined with a limit to how many tax-credit projects can be funded each year, means that the housing crisis will worsen if we don’t act fast to preserve affordability,” Hopkins said.

Aeon President and CEO Alan Arthur is confident in Hopkins’ ability to help Aeon aggressively expand its affordable housing portfolio. “Blake has been a tremendous asset as senior project manager. His technical skills and ability to communicate well with stakeholders and the public are exactly what Aeon needs to meet our ambitious goals,” Arthur said.

Hopkins feels lucky to already have a great team in place, and has plans to add new positions to his department to handle the increase in workload.

“We have incredible talent and an important goal to produce three times the amount of affordable homes that we currently do on an annual basis. My role is to find the opportunities that will help us achieve this ambitious plan,” shares Hopkins.

Hopkins’ diverse background in affordable housing and urban development prepared him for his new role at Aeon. Hopkins has experience in both the public and private sectors having previously worked as a project manager for an affordable housing development company in California, a tax credit underwriter for the State of Texas, and a community development consultant. Hopkins holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Southern California.

About Aeon

Aeon is a responsive nonprofit developer, owner and manager of high-quality affordable apartments and townhomes which serve more than 5,000 people annually in the Twin Cities area. For more than 30 years, Aeon has been committed to helping people create a home in a safe environment and connect to the community around them. We believe that Home changes everything. For more information, visit aeonmn.orgor follow us on Twitter and Facebook.