Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and city housing officials on Monday will tour a $30 million project designed to create and sustain affordable housing in a section of north Minneapolis.
The so-called "EcoVillage" is a four-block area chosen for redevelopment because of its high concentration of foreclosure, crime and other problems. "It's a signal from the city that we are going to take on the toughest neighborhoods, invest our money, work with our partners to turn these neighborhoods around and make them an attractive place for new homeowners," said city housing director Tom Streitz ahead of the tour.
The city has so far completed six new homes and renovated another six in the project. More than three dozen other homes have been rehabbed or demolished. And officials say the project is on track to restore or build 150 additional homes over the next three years.
The next phase of the process after restoring the single family homes and bringing new homeowners into the neighborhood is to develop multifamily rental housing on the corridor next to the EcoVillage, Streitz said.
Officials say they also hope to help area businesses in and around the neighborhood. The one business located within the EcoVillage footprint, Bangkok Market, received financial assistance to complete a green renovation, installing solar panels fabricated by a Minneapolis company, TenK Solar.