MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Alongside members of Red Lake Nation, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey broke ground on the 110-unit, 100% affordable housing project Saturday afternoon.
“Ever since I’ve been on the council, we’ve wanted to do something here and now we’re finally doing it,” said Red Lake Nation Tribal Council Chairman Darrell Seki.
The building will be called “Mino-Bimaadiziwin,” which translates to “the good life” in Ojibwe.
Tribal leaders hope the complex will bring just that to its members.
“Without shelter over our heads, without the means to provide safety for your family, you really can’t uplift yourself,” said Red Lake Nation Tribal Council Secretary Sam Strong.
In addition to housing, it will also feature a substance abuse and mental health center.
“This development will give them access to the resources for them to live a good life,” said Strong.
The land where the new complex is being built is the same place where a temporary Navigation Center once stood. Opened last December, that building closed in mid-summer.
The majority of the 200 people who stayed there at one point were living at a massive homeless encampment off Hiawatha Avenue.
“I think it’s a beautiful arc to the story that where we are ending right now is the construction of stable and deeply affordable housing,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
Making housing affordable and attainable for everyone has been a key priority for the mayor’s office.
“It’s not like you’re going to end homelessness overnight, but if there’s the political will to take a different approach,” Mayor Frey said.
Roughly $4.7 million of the city’s 2019 affordable housing budget will go towards the building. About $2.5 million of that comes from the affordable housing trust fund, and $2 million comes from tax increment financing.
Eighty-six of the units are at 50 to 60% of area median income. Twenty-four are at 30%.
Construction on this project is expected to be completed in 12 to 16 months.