New Group Established to Examine Housing Affordability Issues

Housing First Minnesota Legal Defense Fund Becomes The Housing Affordability Institute

A new non-profit in Minnesota is looking at tackling the state’s housing affordability challenges.

Formed as an independent offshoot of the BATC-Housing First Minnesota Legal Defense Fund, the Housing Affordability Institute was incorporated in May.

The mission of the Institute is to examine and propose solutions to the burdens government places on housing affordability and the housing industry. Much of the institute’s work will be done through the development of policy white papers and getting involved in housing affordability court cases, like the Harstad v. Woodbury case currently before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

“The Harstad v. Woodbury case has demonstrated the need for a strong legal defense program anchored in sound housing policy focused on affordability,” said David Siegel, executive director of Housing First Minnesota. “Forming the Housing Affordability Institute as an independent offshoot of our advocacy program allows the entire industry to benefit from its work.”

A steering committee, comprised of appointed longtime housing industry leaders, directs the activities of the Housing Affordability Institute. This committee is chaired by Jason McCarty
of Westwood Professional Services and also includes John Aune of Lennar, Pam Belz of Presbyterian Homes, Ed Englebrecht of Pella Windows and Frank Kottschade of North American Realty.

For more information about the Housing Affordability Institute, visit