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LISC Twin Cities’ work to help preserve affordable housing units is more crucial than ever in the pandemic

5.21.2020

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. The Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Twin Cities has collaborated with the City of Minneapolis to help Land Bank Twin Cities Inc. purchase five apartment buildings in the Corcoran neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Since this past December, LISC Twin Cities has worked closely with community partners, tenants, funders, and city governments in order to help make three significant purchases that will positively impact the lives of thousands of tenants in the metro area, helping preserve affordable housing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LISC Twin Cities provided a four-year, $4.98 MM loan to Land Bank Twin Cities Inc., which helped them acquire five apartment buildings in the Corcoran neighborhood of South Minneapolis this past Monday. This acquisition symbolized the end of a five-year movement for the tenants and Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia (United Renters for Justice), a community group that has worked with the tenants since 2015 to address the poor living conditions in the apartments and keep the units affordable. 

In addition to LISC Twin Cities’ loan, Land Bank Twin Cities Inc. obtained $3.45MM in 0% interest financing from the City of Minneapolis as part of the Small and Medium Multifamily Loan Program for the preservation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) properties. The City created this tool in partnership with LISC and Land Bank Twin Cities to support housing stability and create a path for possible tenant ownership; partners hope to preserve this partnership and continue to use this new tool in the months ahead. The five buildings include 69 apartments.

The Corcoran purchase is the most recent that LISC Twin Cities helped finance in the past year. In late January, LISC used its largest loan package ever in the Twin Cities, $76.6MM, to finance Aeon’s acquisition of 834 NOAH units in Brooklyn Park. The City of Brooklyn Park provided $5MM, LISC’s National Equity Fund (NEF) provided $72.5MM, and LISC Twin Cities contributed an additional $4.1MM. All 834 apartments at Huntington Place will be affordable at or below 60% of the AMI. Huntington Place is home to over 1,600 residents.

The Huntington Place acquisition was the second instance in the past year where LISC and Aeon collaborated to preserve critically needed affordable housing units. The first acquisition was in late December 2019, with the acquisition of the Village Club Apartments in Bloomington, a 306-unit NOAH project. The City of Bloomington provided $7MM and LISC’s NEF Preservation Fund provided a $40.18 MM loan, and Aeon invested $500K into the acquisition. These two acquisitions preserved over 1,100 NOAH apartments, leveraging $12MM in city money with over $116MM in capital from LISC organizations. 

Prior to these three major purchases, in late 2017, LISC Twin Cities provided a $3MM loan to Aeon to help acquire and preserve 1,190 units of NOAH rental housing in 11 properties across the Twin Cities. All the units were affordable to working households of modest means, and Aeon’s goal has been to rehab the buildings while keeping the rents as affordable as possible.

"The partnerships LISC Twin Cities have formed these past few months are essential in order to make real progress to address the affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis, especially during these challenging times we’re living in. We will continue to invest in underserved communities in order to drive local, regional, and national system changes that foster shared prosperity and well-being."
— Peter McLaughlin, LISC Executive Director

Five months into 2020, LISC Twin Cities has helped keep over 1,200 NOAH housing units affordable for low-income renters at Huntington Place, Village Club, and the Corcoran neighborhood of South Minneapolis. This marks only the beginning of their work this year in revitalizing communities through collaboration. LISC Twin Cities recognizes that community development must include the voices of tenants, community partners, governments, and funders in order to drive long-lasting change.

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About LISC Twin Cities

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity–great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1988, Twin Cities LISC has invested $900 million to build or rehab 17,404 affordable homes and apartments, developed 2.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space, and served over 7,500 families at Financial Opportunity Centers. To learn more, visit tclisc.org or follow us on Twitter @LISC_TwinCities and Facebook @LISCTwinCities.