Friday, January 29, 2016

Minnesota Housing Partnership awarded Wells Fargo grant to leverage community-driven investment in rural communities, American Indian reservations

News from NHC's family of members 
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

Last month NHC member Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) was awarded a grant from NHC Chairman’s Circle member Wells Fargo Housing Foundation to expand its support to rural communities and American Indian reservations. The Community Resilience Initiative will connect rural and tribal communities to financial resources and technical skills they need to launch new projects, invest in economic vitality and build local collaborations.

Minnesota Housing Partnership has worked for many years to help rural and tribal communities achieve their goals of stable economies, sustainable housing and cultural autonomy. The $300,000 commitment from Wells Fargo to MHP is expected to attract more than $3 million in new development investment over the next five to ten years, from private and public sources, in more than a dozen rural and American Indian communities and regions across the country.

“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting the efforts of Minnesota Housing Partnership's community development team and we're proud to be a part of this effort to further strengthen our rural and Native American communities," Wells Fargo Senior Vice President and Community Relations Manager Muffie Gabler said in a press release. "Resilient, sustainable communities are critical to a healthy economy," she added.

Though founded with a focus on housing conditions in urban areas, in recent years NHC has expanded its focus to include rural communities in our work to move affordable housing forward. We’ve advocated for policy that would provide funding for the preservation of affordable housing in rural communities. As we look ahead into 2016, we’ll continue working to ensure that rural communities are not forgotten in the midst of the affordable housing movement.  

Minnesota Housing Partnership’s director of strategy and partnerships, Sarah Berke, added that “each dollar of investment from Wells Fargo will be matched directly by federal capacity-building dollars to attract ten to twenty times that amount in new investment over the longer term, as our partners launch their development projects."

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