Press Release

Minnesotans respond to housing crisis with outpouring of support

Minneapolis, May 10 — Mayor Jacob Frey rallied a crowd of 650 attendees to support affordable housing nonprofit Aeon at its Beyond Bricks & Mortar breakfast yesterday. Aeon is a nonprofit developer, owner and manager of affordable homes serving nearly 8,000 residents annually in the Twin Cities area.

“When public, private, and nonprofit partners come together to expand access to affordable housing, we can deliver real results and help more people find housing security,” said Mayor Frey.

Aeon is committed to slowing this loss of affordable homes through partnerships with the government, business and nonprofit sectors, and hundreds of generous donors and investors. With community support, Aeon preserved and built 1,190 homes in 2017.

From the community of Richfield, City Councilmember Maria Regan Gonzalez emceed the program, highlighting the issues their community has faced. Councilmember Gonzalez reminded the audience of the real-life impact on former residents of the Crossroads redevelopment, and celebrated the contrast with Aeon’s acquisition of Seasons Park Apartments. Aeon’s purchase of the property preserved the homes of 800 Richfield residents.

Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal was on-hand to show the state’s support for Aeon’s work. A host of other government, county and city officials and policy leaders also attended.

Dominium, a private affordable housing development and management company, was the presenting sponsor of the event. Dominium and 30 other corporate sponsors helped ensure this was a free event for attendees to learn more about work Aeon is doing to respond to the crisis and how they can help.

Sunrise Banks, whose mission is to empower people to achieve financial wellness, is also committed to facing the housing crisis head-on.

“Sunrise Banks is a social engine for good,” said President Nichol Beckstrand. “That’s why we’ve invested in Aeon’s mission. We can build stronger communities and promote financial wellness only if we can make home affordable.”

Sunrise Banks announced a $20,000 giving challenge to the audience and in just a few minutes 100 attendees raised their keys to become a monthly donor, responding to Aeon’s call to create and preserve affordable homes.

Affordable homes are disappearing faster than organizations like Aeon can preserve or replace them. The bulk of these losses is among naturally occurring affordable housing, or “NOAH” properties, which are modest, aging apartments that are affordable to renters earning low incomes. These properties are being purchased by investors and upscaled, raising rents and displacing most residents in the process.

“We are losing NOAH homes at a rate of 50-100 units per week,” said Aeon President and CEO Alan Arthur. “The community is taking notice of this crisis and making their voices heard by challenging their elected officials to find policy solutions, through their support of Aeon to lead boldly on these issues.”

About Aeon

Aeon is a nonprofit developer, owner and manager of high-quality affordable apartments and townhomes which serve nearly 8,000 people annually in the Twin Cities area. For more than 30 years, Aeon has been committed to helping people create homes where they feel safe and connected to the community around them. We believe that Home changes everything. For more information, visit aeonmn.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.