Affordable Housing [Think Again Brooklyns] PDF Print E-mail


Big Need, Limited Supply



Tuesday, September 20

6 p.m. - Pizza Buffet and Social             6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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A much larger number of people in MN live below the income considered reasonable to pay for housing, 30% of income, than there are housing units available at that cost. We might expect that most of these people are recent immigrants or minorities, but actually most of them are people whose grandparents and great grandparents immigrated from European countries before the Great Depression. According to the MN State Demography Center’s study of 17 cultural groups, the six groups with the highest number of people living in poverty are white (346,800), African-American (72,800), Mexican (47,100), Somali (26,400), Hmong (17,700), and Ojibwe (12,200). In 2011 to 2013, 57% of Brooklyn Park renters paid more than 35% of their income for housing. 


Many MN residents living in poverty are older adults. The need for for 55+ affordable housing is expected to increase to 219,873 by 2020 with an expected supply of only 23,750 units.  About two thirds of Minnesotans working for minimum wage are women, and two thirds of seniors living in poverty are women.

alice hausman
Representative Alice Hausman will speak on the need for affordable housing for MN families and older residents. As chair of the House Capital Investment committee in 2014, Rep. Hausman led the 2014 effort for historic investments to address the affordable housing needs of low income MN families, veterans, seniors.

Rep. Hausman was recently named the recipient of the prestigious Mary K. Nenno Legislative Advocacy Award by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). She was also named the “Homes for All” 2015 Housing Champion, a statewide campaign of more than 150 organizations.

lisa wilcox-erhardt
Lisa Wilcox-Erhardt, Executive Vice President of Housing & Services at CommonBond, will describe the importance of service programs in affordable housing especially the specific programs that CommonBond offers for families, youth and the aging. CommonBond won an Excellence Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits in 2014.

Ms. Lisa Wilcox-Erhardt has worked for CommonBond for over 11 years. Prior to her present position, she worked in property management for CommonBond and served as a Cannon Falls City Council member.
A panel discussion will follow the speakers' presentations.  Bring your questions and concerns about Affordable Housing in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, and the metro area as a whole.  Our two leading MN experts on Affordable Housing will be happy to answer them.

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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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