Beacon Interfaith party

Attendees of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative’s launch party for Vista 44.

HOPKINS — New affordable housing will be coming to Hopkins, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative said in late April.

Beacon plans to build Vista 44, a 50-unit apartment building with on-site services, according to a news release.

“There is an urgent need to create housing options that work for at-risk families in the suburbs,” Beacon’s Executive Director Lee Blons said in the release. “As rents continue to rise across the Twin Cities metro area, more and more of us are feeling squeezed and being forced to make difficult decisions regarding health, education, debt, and basic needs within our budgets.”

The location of the new homes, according to the news release, is an important factor with a nearby downtown district, health care opportunities, entertainment and high-rated, diverse schools.

Support services at Vista 44 will be provided by Volunteers of America — Minnesota and Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization that helps provide health and human services, the release says.

Beacon is applying for zoning approval and public funding support in 2019 and plans to break ground in 2020, the news release says.

Affordable

housing needs

The Family Housing Fund, an organization that works to ensure affordable housing in the Twin Cities, released a study May 14 on housing affordability and availability in the seven-county Twin Cities metro.

“Not only is housing in the Twin Cities less affordable than many other growing urban areas, the region is on a trajectory to becoming as expensive as places like Denver and Seattle,” the Family Housing Fund said in a news release.

The study found there are an estimated 374,259 workers in the region who are housing cost burdened (they’re paying more than 30 percent of their income each month for housing), noting this equates to one in five workers. The largest number of cost-burdened workers are in the region’s health care and social assistance sector.

The report noted that to meet housing demand in the region that will be created by new job growth, the Twin Cities metro will need to add 176,710 new housing units by 2038. About half of that rental housing would need to available for less than $1,250 a month to be considered affordable to future workers.

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