Minneapolis welcomes new north side affordable housing development

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was working hard Wednesday as he joined local leaders to open a major affordable housing development on the north side.

Nearly a decade in the making, Hawthorn Eco-Village on Lowry Avenue is officially open. 

“It’s been important to get this done for the neighborhood, for the north side of Minneapolis," said affordable housing advocate Paul Williams. "It’s a very prominent corner.”

The building offers 75 units of affordable housing, thanks to help from a dozen funding partners.

“I grew up in a single parent household, and the number one thing that changed my life trajectory was safe, decent, affordable housing,” said Gary Cunningham of the Metropolitan Council.

Residents can rent one, two and three-bedroom apartments designed for those making half or less than the area’s median income.

“It’s significant. I think a third of all households in the state are cost-burdened,” Williams said. “This is a really significant project in terms of its visibility and its prominence here on the north side."

Mayor Frey agrees, claiming early and often that affordable housing will be a top priority of his new administration.

“We have a crisis right now; we have a serious lack of affordable housing," he said. "That is indeed a crisis. In fact, we’ve lost over 15,000 units of affordable housing in the past 15 years alone, and it’s not like things were rosy 15 years ago in 2002."