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2016-2020 Housing Framework Status

February 04, 2020 Public Report On Housing Framework




Key Points from PB Reporting


1. Need goals alignment: City of Rochester, Olmsted County and Mayo Clinic continue to have their own goals and discussions.

2. Need synchronized communication and unclear roles for the different entities. Groups continue to work outside the coalition

3. Need data collection and reporting -- overall impact to the housing market is difficult to define.

4. Will provide funding an update to the 2014 Maxfield study that identified specific needs for affordable housing.

5. Coalition has committed $3 million of its $4.6 million. 




PB Reporting 2020-02-04


 Steve Borchardt, the Rochester Area Foundation’s housing coalition director, said the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing, which was created in late 2017, has helped generate some activity, but the partners — the foundation, City of Rochester, Olmsted County and Mayo Clinic — continue to have their own goals and discussions.

He said so far, the coalition has committed approximately $3 million of its $4.6 million to bolster affordable housing in the community.

“It leverages local involvement,” he said, adding that developers of affordable housing have been able to tap other support due to the local commitment.

The result, he said, is approximately $57.6 million spent in creating or maintaining affordable housing in the community.

“That’s a good return on dollars,” he said.

At the same time, he said local entities have different goals regarding the overall housing issue.

Dunn said work to align the goals could be improved by adding a Rochester City Council member to the coalition board, noting that the city’s only representative is Assistant City Administrator Terry Speath.

He said increased communication could help hammer out roles for the different entities as they continue to work outside the coalition.

Council Member Nick Campion said adding a council member to the coalition wouldn’t necessarily define what is needed.

“I’m just searching for what’s the next step,” he said, citing a need for improved data.

Borchardt said the coalition is funding an update to the 2014 Maxfield study that identified specific needs for affordable housing.

While the community has seen nearly 6,000 new apartments built since the initial study was completed, he said less than 1,400 meet the needs of people earning 60% of the area median income or less, which is about half of what the Maxfield study suggested should have been built in recent years.

Borchardt said ongoing development is generating some movement in the housing market, opening older apartments with lower rents, but they can be hard to find and are frequently in buildings that were not tracked by the Maxfield study, which focused on complexes with eight or more apartment units.

He said the overall impact to the housing market is difficult to define.

“We can’t quantify that at this time,” he said, adding that the update, which is expected to kick off on Feb. 12, could help address the issue, with the hope of having an update by early June.

“That should put us in a better position to determine what the influx of 6,000 apartments has done to the market and what we can project going forward,” he said.

Campion said the concern about the update is that it could be outdated by the time local elected officials receive it.

Borchardt, who is retiring on June 30, said additional local efforts are hoping to find ways to use city data to update housing information on an annual basis to identify shifting needs.

Council member Michael Wojcik indicated the city could help by seeking more information.

“We have the ability to collect data with our permits,” he said, noting that the city could start tracking rents by including them as part of the forms completed to obtain rental permits.

He said until improved data is generated, the council can only react to what it’s hearing in the community, which has led him to believe access to affordable housing hasn’t improved in recent years.

Council President Randy Staver, however, said he believes progress has been made in recent years as a result of work done by the coalition and other community entities.

“I feel we are making progress based on the limited information we’ve seen,” he said, acknowledging that more data could help define any progress.







February 04, 2020 Public Report On Housing Framework


Site Information
  • For the commercial sector, we tend to register startup activities (new companies and new commercial projects) that bring diversification and high-impact opportunities to the area.
  • For the non-profit sector, we wish to shine light on all the organizations and services that otherwise labor under relative obscurity.
  • Our hope is that will encourage cross-sector collaborations and creative solutions.

While there are a number of registries in the community,'s  distinct value is to pilot a database with a data structure and categorizations that answer the questions such as: What organizations or projects/programs in our community that have purported relevance with some of the over-arching focuses put forward by initiatives such as DMC, J2G and Health Improvements?

This database could be used as one of the ways to explore the capacities of the community. If you are someone on an exploratory journey to learn about the greater Rochester community. could be an interesting first step.

The following defines the various project phases:
  1. Available - a product, program or service is in production
  2. Develop - program or application is being developed
  3. Plan - idea is solid, stakeholders are identified, and there is strong commitment to go forward from all parties.
  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.
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