​NACEDA Members Help Midwest Residents Save HUD Office

The closure of HUD's Minneapolis Multifamily Office was prevented by a partnership between the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Sen. Franken, Rep. Ellison... and NACEDA.

December 17, 2013

When HUD announced that it would close 16 of its 80 field offices in April, NACEDA received a call from Darielle Dannen of the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) in Minneapolis. Dannen was alarmed that the office serving Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota was slated for closure. She wanted to partner with other NACEDA members to prevent field office closures.

Raising the alarm

“We thought it was really important to keep our local office open because of their deep understanding of rural development, senior co-operative housing models, Native American communities, and the unique needs of populations living in this part of the country” said Dannen. “We didn't think we'd be as well served by an office say in Chicago that doesn't have that expertise.”

NACEDA Director Frank Woodruff contacted members around the country who were affected by the closures. He and Dannen were surprised to learn that no other members raised strong objections to the slated closures. Woodruff sent a letter to HUD explaining why “the Minneapolis Multifamily Office is a shining example of some of HUD’s best work” and should remain open.

Intel from other states

“It was really useful to find out from NACEDA members that there was not an outcry in other parts of the country. We used that information to emphasize to HUD that this was a unique situation,” Dannen explained. “It's a lot more compelling when a national organization that represents organizations throughout the nation tells you that it's a mistake to close this particular office,” she added.

MCCD organized a coalition of local practitioners, state housing and finance agencies, philanthropic organizations and Congressional lawmakers to advocate to keep the Minneapolis office open. Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison were strong partners in the effort. They both introduced bills requiring Congressional hearings on the Minneapolis office closing and tied it to HUD appropriations.

The coalition invited HUD staff responsible for the closures to come to the Twin Cities and meet with local practitioners. They arranged a bus tour of innovative programs, focusing on the Corridors of Opportunities initiative. The Minneapolis HUD office was deeply involved in efforts that initiative to tie community economic development to a new regional transit system for the Twin Cities, using Living Cities and Sustainable Communities funds.

Good save

On November 22, HUD notified MCCD that the Minneapolis office was no longer slated for closure. Many thanks to all the NACEDA members who provided information about the impact of proposed HUD office closures in their jurisdictions.

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