Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Today the Coalition of Rochester Area Housing announced a $15 million commitment to bridge the affordable housing gap in Olmsted County.

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According to a news release from the Coalition, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted County previously pledged $10 million and $4 million toward this effort, and today Mayo Clinic announced an additional $5 million contribution.

The City of Rochester is anticipated to invest nearly $9 million in affordable housing over the next five years and is currently discussing how it can provide additional funding to support the Coalition and leverage the latest partner investment.

Coalition members expect the commitment to produce and preserve affordable homes in Olmsted County and create an economic impact exceeding $200 million.

“While we’ve accomplished much in the first years of the Coalition, we continue to hear from residents of Olmsted County, through the Community Health Needs Assessment, that financial stress and housing are a top need and social determinant of health,” said Dr. Amy Williams, Executive Dean of Practice, Mayo Clinic. “As founding members of the Coalition, Mayo Clinic is dedicated to providing bold solutions that enable all citizens to live and thrive with dignity and health.”

The funds will help enhance homeownership for working individuals and families, increase homeownership for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families, create and preserve affordable rental housing, and expand housing options for seniors.

“Our rate of economic growth is outpacing our ability to provide homes for the people who fuel that growth,” said Rochester City Council Member Patrick Keane. “As a Coalition, we are seeking to develop a broad and sustainable housing market that works for more people, today and into the future.”

Through a funding balance from Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester, and strategic partnerships, the Coalition leverages the power of collaborative decision-making to provide solutions for affordable housing

Its new multi-year plan stabilizes the path to homeownership, ensures the availability of affordable rental housing, and invests in innovative housing initiatives to reduce the risk for local developers.

“From innovative funding and financing models to forward-thinking land use, construction, and developer partnerships, the Coalition is poised to meet the needs of people at a variety of income levels and all stages of life,” said Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden.

The Coalition has already initiated a senior housing co-design project and is supporting the development of an affordable housing campus led by Bear Creek Development at Mayowood Acres, the former Crossroads College site.

More initiatives will be announced as work progresses. The Coalition is building on a strong foundation that includes nearly $4 million invested to create and preserve affordable housing since 2018. This investment has leveraged over $112 million in economic impact and affordability of 640 units of rental and homeownership units.

The Coalition for Rochester Area Housing was created in 2017 as a unique public-private collaboration to ensure all residents have a place to call home. Coalition partners include Olmsted County, the City of Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Area Foundation, and Destination Medical Center.

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