Secured historically significant affordable housing plan in Highland Park
When the former Ford Auto Plant closed over a decade ago, activists identified the site as a powerful opportunity to advance transformative equitable development in Saint Paul’s middle to upper class Highland Park neighborhood. As the city considered zoning options in 2017, the Alliance convened a coalition that pushed the city council to adopt a plan with compact urban densities that could support a rich mix of homes, retail and commercial space, green space, strong transit connections, and bicycle and pedestrian trails. In partnership with councilmembers such as Dai Thao, the coalition persuaded the city to adopt a plan calling for 10% of all residential units affordable at 30% of Area Median Income (AMI). These units will be affordable to lower wealth households, including individuals making the minimum wage, seniors on a fixed income, Section 8 certificate holders, and people with disabilities. At maximum density, the Ford site could accommodate 400 units of rental housing at this affordability level. Furthermore, this landmark site plan envisions another 5% of all residential units at 50% of AMI and 5% at 60% of AMI.