Aeon Blog

Connecting Lives

  • Gardening helps this Aeon community come together

    There’s no question that eating your fruits and veggies is important to stay healthy. But what happens when healthy food is out of reach? For people with very-low income, buying fresh produce and staying healthy can seem like a luxury when their limited funds also have to cover rent, clothes, and medical bills. At Parkview […]

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  • Frerichs: Going above and beyond to make Home possible

    Securing financing, managing construction, marketing to potential residents — these steps need to happen to make affordable apartment homes possible, just like with other types of development projects. What makes affordable homes unique, however, is the community support that goes into them and the needs of the neighbors they serve. Without the community embracing affordable […]

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  • Poetry helps Dyrell find his purpose

    God’s Plan What is it you have in store for me? I want to know why can’t I see? There’s something here that I must do, Still to this day I have no clue. Why is it, you keep saving me? Although I sin, you’re there for me. I know I should have long been […]

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  • Home can transform lives – we just have to give people a chance

    “As a society, our decision to heap shame and contempt upon those who struggle and fail in a system designed to keep them locked up and locked out says far more about ourselves than it does about them,” Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness This insightful reflection by […]

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  • The different definitions of Home

    Home is family. Home is community. Home is serenity. Home is safety. Home means something different to every individual, but the feeling of comfort and relief we experience when walking through the front door to our Homes is often the same. Your support of Aeon isn’t just about providing affordable housing. It’s also about providing […]

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  • Today is a victory: Minneapolis landlords can no longer discriminate against Section 8 voucher holders

    Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), which include Section 8 vouchers, were supposed to make it easier for low-income individuals and families to find quality affordable housing that makes sense for where their kids go to school, where they see their doctor and where they work. Because many landlords do not accept Section 8 vouchers, however, it […]

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  • For Alvin, Home is where his art is

    It wasn’t until he picked up art again that Alvin fully recovered his past, and he hasn’t stopped creating since. Alvin first discovered his love and talent for art in school, but years later his passion got pushed aside in lieu of other responsibilities. Taking care of his mom and maintaining a full-time job – […]

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  • Resident sitting on bed.

    “Why are people homeless?”

    I was asked a simple question recently, “Why are people homeless?”  If we consider homelessness a problem we should solve, the answer is important. Although there are a myriad of contributing factors, the fundamental answer is simple. Insufficient resources. For decades I’ve heard people claim that mental health issues and alcohol and chemical dependency issues […]

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  • Aeon residents at a community event.

    How Home empowers our Aeon community

    “When I first moved into Paige Hall, I wasn’t interested in getting involved with the community here. But after seeing how engaged the Resident Connections staff were with my neighbors, I started to see the benefits of being involved and connecting with others in the building. They go above and beyond every day and have […]

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  • “Home is our antidote.” Reflections on Inauguration Day

    Inauguration day is in many ways a day like any other. I go to work, sit at the front desk, answer the phone, address residents’ inquiries and do my small part to make this building a home for the residents that live here. Yet despite the ordinary events, there is no doubt that this inauguration […]

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  • A new year, a fresh start to make a positive difference

    Wow. Here it is. 2017. We get to work in a fresh, new year.  We – each of us, you, me, our families, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers – can seize this glorious opportunity to make a positive difference for our community, for each other. We are privileged to have that chance. And isn’t […]

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  • Aeon closes sale on Indian Knoll Manor

    Aeon officially closed sale on Indian Knoll Manor, located in the City of Mound, this week. The building, formerly owned by the Mound Housing and Redevelopment Authority contains 50 apartment homes. Aeon will expand the affordable housing property with six additional apartments on the existing building and 10 new townhomes. Indian Knoll Manor was first […]

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  • Eddie’s story of losing and finding Home

    It’s easy to take Home for granted when you’ve never experienced life without one. For Eddie, losing his home taught him just how easy it can be to fall on hard times. He also gained perspective on how different this time of year is when you’re searching for a warm bed to sleep in each […]

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  • What is Aeon grateful for this year? You!

    When someone asks me how I am, it is common for me to reply, “I’m still the luckiest man in the world.”  My response is often received as automatic, and rather trite. My friend Pastor Agnew of Bethesda Baptist Church predictably retorts, “No, Alan, you’re not lucky…you’re blessed.” All the above is true. In so […]

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  • American flag

    Are we awake or are we dreaming?

    As much as it may feel like the world has changed overnight, we know that isn’t possible. Discouraged by the inertia of divisive politics we may have given up, stopped paying attention, allowed ourselves to be distracted. Or worse, put on a protective layer of cynicism that enables us to deny what we as individuals […]

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  • The social, market and political forces driving out affordable housing

    Aeon just won the national ULI’s annual Jack Kemp Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing.  We won for Aeon’s work with Hope Community to complete the last phase of South Quarter IV, The Rose, at the intersection of Franklin and Portland Avenues in Minneapolis. It’s always nice when a group of national experts confirm that […]

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  • Give to the Max Day logo

    5 ways to do good this Give to the Max Day

    “As a young adult who has experienced homelessness, you cannot live the way society wants you to live, but Aeon and other nonprofits help you make a path that will go toward your own way of living and shaping your future,” Alberto, Aeon resident Alberto reminds us of the importance of Home and how your […]

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  • Aeon employee holding award.

    The affordable housing dilemma — we can’t win without innovation

    Ten thousand people will be homeless tonight in Minnesota. “But unfortunately,” explains Aeon CEO Alan Arthur, “this is only the tip of a massive iceberg already completely formed, created by 40+ years of political, social and market forces that have led us to the greatest shortage of affordable housing in our country since the early […]

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  • Wooden Bridge

    Building bridges to cross the class divide

    Strengthening lives and communities is one of the essential goals that drives Aeon’s efforts, and it requires our organization to form a deeper understanding of the families and individuals we are partnering with. Bridges Out of Poverty This past month, the entire Aeon staff met together to attend the Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop, an all-day training event based on the book by Ruby […]

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  • A big thank you to Aeon’s partners — we couldn’t have done it without you

    Aeon is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and we are taking this opportunity to look back on the successes achieved, and the partners who have helped us get here. Today, we want to give a shout out to long-time partners Frerichs Construction and NorthMarq Capital, along with our new media partner, the Star Tribune. […]

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  • Aeon leadership team

    What does Home mean to you?

    I hope the word Home conjures up feelings of safety and comfort. That it is a place where you grow deeper connections to friends and loved ones. And feel a part of the community of neighbors who surround you. My journey to Home Today, my Home is in the Stevens Square community in Minneapolis — […]

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  • Lowry Grove residents at court

    A Lowry Grove recap: Residents are still fighting to keep their homes

    As of today, Lowry Grove residents are still waiting to hear their fate — they are still fighting to keep their homes. If you’ve recently joined the conversation or have missed the most recent updates, scan through our quick recap of the main events occurring from April until now. April and May: Residents of St. […]

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  • Stay Strong

    This afternoon oral arguments were scheduled for Hennepin County court for our Lowry Grove mobile-home park lawsuit. As you know, developers are trying to kick out 150 people so that market housing can be built, after we and the residents made a legal matching offer that by law should have been accepted. Last night I […]

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  • Debra Behrens Named Aeon’s Chief Advancement Officer

    Debra Behrens, a Twin Cities development professional with local and national nonprofits for 17 years, is Aeon’s new chief advancement officer. Behrens was previously the vice president of philanthropy at Minneapolis-based Scholarship America and development director at the Animal Humane Society, College Possible Twin Cities and an associate development officer at the University of Minnesota […]

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  • Lowry Grove Lawsuit Status

    Lowry Grove Update On Monday, August 1, 2016 an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) was filed on behalf of residents/Aeon re Lowry Grove by the Office of the Attorney General of Minnesota. An amicus curiae is the name for a brief filed with the court by someone who is not a party to the […]

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  • Celebrating preservation and transformation at Parkview Villa

    About Parkview Villa On July 19th we celebrated the grand opening of the newly renovated Parkview Villa in Columbia Heights – a 146-unit apartment complex primarily housing seniors. After seven months of construction, the residents were thrilled to celebrate their new home with a visit from Congressman Keith Ellison and Columbia Heights Mayor, Gary Peterson […]

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  • 30 years of strengthening lives and communities

    This year, at Aeon, we celebrate 30 years of strengthening lives and communities. As we reflect back, we are proud of what we have accomplished. We have grown from replacing 350 units of housing that were demolished to build the Minneapolis Convention Center, to providing quality affordable apartment homes to more than 4,500 residents across […]

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  • Help 291 Aeon kids get ready for back to school!

    With the start of the school year approaching, Aeon’s staff and volunteers will launch a back to school drive to help our 193 elementary school, 40 middle school, and 58 high school students get ready to return to class. Many families Aeon serves do not have the resources to purchase back to school supplies for their […]

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  • MP3 Upgrade Marks 30 Years of Housing Preservation

    When Aeon hosted a grand reopening on June 8th of the 10 affordable housing properties known as the Minneapolis Portfolio Project (MP3), it marked a 30 year milestone of providing quality affordable housing to the Twin Cities community. These buildings, several of which have national historic architectural significance, were some of the very first buildings […]

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  • Lowry Grove sign

    Aeon and Lowry Grove Residents File Lawsuit to Retain As Affordable Housing

    Aeon and co-plaintiff Antonia Alvarez, on behalf of the residents of Lowry Grove manufactured home park, filed a lawsuit on Monday, June 27, 2016, with Hennepin County District Court to preserve the manufactured home park as a critically important affordable housing resource. The lawsuit states that the owners violated a Minnesota statute by closing on […]

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  • Property Management & Maintenance Job Fair

    On January 12, Aeon hosted a job fair for property management and maintenance positions at the central office in Minneapolis. Aeon recruiter Alycia Klatt reflects on her experience around joining Aeon and her passion for growing Aeon’s team with talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.  Had it not been for a conversation I had with Aeon’s HR Representative, […]

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  • Xavier, St. Barnabas resident, male with short black and purple hair, wearing a gray t-shirt and sitting at an outdoor table

    LGBTQ homeless youth and the Supreme Court ruling

    The Supreme Court just ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the United States. That’s quite the kickoff to the Twin Cities Pride festival taking place in Loring Park this weekend. This annual celebration often focuses on the positive aspects of being part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer […]

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  • Creating community: an Aeon resident’s perspective

    Last October, along with five other Aeon residents and several social work mentors from Simpson Housing, I was pleased to be invited to participate in the Community Leadership Institute (CLI), an annual conference produced by NeighborWorks America. Not until recently did I discover that I had not previously explored what community means to me or […]

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  • Alt text here

    The Word Curse of Affordable Housing

    Affordable housing. Subsidized housing. Low-income housing. These terms all have a very negative connotation to the general public. I believe this is influenced by decades of watching the nightly news or movies and television shows (like Law & Order, in which the only “good” Black character usually portrayed is Ice-T). Low-income families and neighborhoods are […]

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  • Revised income requirement for Aeon apartment homes

    At Aeon, our mission is to create and sustain quality affordable homes that strengthen lives and communities. This past week, we made a policy change we believe will directly impact the individuals and families who need homes the most. We are pleased to share that Aeon’s minimum household income requirement — or the amount of […]

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  • Aeon’s Annual Meeting & Celebration

    Community [noun]: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. We live in a time where having meaningful discussions with others looks more like a 6th grade typing class than a face-to-face conversation. While this technological uprising has made life so much more convenient, it has also […]

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  • The New Jim Crow

    2015 is the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when hundreds of civil rights marchers were attacked by local police forces in Selma, Alabama. The Selma marches catalyzed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That same year, the racial segregation laws, known as Jim Crow laws, were finally erased. Yet five decades later, overt, covert, and […]

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  • Rock-paper-scissors for creating homes and fighting homelessness…

    An all-staff meeting. When was the last time you raved about such a gathering? Generally speaking, they’re about as much fun as a two-hour conference call or a budget meeting. But a few days ago, Aeon had a meeting that staff members are still talking about. It was a meeting filled with fun, laughter, and […]

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  • The Adams

    New financing preserves 582 affordable apartment homes in Minneapolis

    Financing a $23.1 million renovation project of affordable apartment homes is no small feat. Nearly four years of planning and negotiations, eight enormous boxes of closing documents, unexpected changes in interest rates, and very long hours for staff members were all part of the process to begin renovation on our Minneapolis Portfolio Preservation Project. Numbers, […]

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  • Poverty, Homelessness, and Home

    Poverty. Insufficient income to meet basic needs, to live a fruitful and full life. Home is a basic human need. It follows right behind air, water and food. It’s probably connected with love. Aeon’s vision is that every person has a home. Tonight, there will be 14,000 homeless people in Minnesota. Our work is not […]

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  • Group of lit candles in the dark

    Celebrating Lost Lives and Recommitting to Ending Homelessness

    Last night, Aeon and its community partner, Simpson Housing Services, joined other community groups and hundreds of people for a memorial. Aeon works to create communities that care and that’s why we participated in this memorial that helps validate the importance of the lives of those that have experienced the challenges of homelessness. The Homeless […]

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  • Sun shining through tree top

    Welcome to the Aeon Blog – Where Lives Connect

    When we started in 1986, we set out to do affordable housing better than it’s been done before. Since then, we’ve added new ways of connecting with the community, supporting our mission to create and sustain quality affordable apartments and townhomes that strengthen lives and communities. Today we are pleased to introduce our new blog […]

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  • Aeon's Gina Ciganik in Washington

    Multifamily Housing Owners Join President’s Better Buildings Challenge

    Fifty multifamily housing property owners have joined forces with the Obama Administration’s Better Buildings Challenge to reduce energy use nationwide. These Multifamily Residential Housing Partners, or Better Buildings Challenge Partners, have committed to cutting their energy use by 20 percent in 10 years, reducing energy waste and helping families save money on their energy bills. “For us, […]

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  • Homelessness and Mental Illness: When Home is the Key to Success

    “Keep your head up. Keep pushing on. Know your resources.” These are the tips Mike Lynch gave me when I asked what it takes to move from homelessness to home. Whatever the circumstances, everyone could benefit from that advice. Mike is a resident at Aeon’s Alliance Apartments in downtown Minneapolis. It offers affordable apartment homes for formerly homeless adults. […]

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  • Sustainability and Affordable Housing

    Going “green” may seem like a popular trend. Green building, however, is more than a trend in affordable housing — sustainability is a critical aspect of affordable housing development. It helps ensure that the buildings not only have a minimal impact on the environment, but that they continue to be affordable for residents and owners […]

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  • South Quarter Phase IV Rendering

    Why Build Green Affordable Housing?

    Building affordable housing in a sustainable way is more than installing high-efficiency windows or energy-star rated appliances in all apartment homes. While incorporating these features all play a part, Aeon has established an internal sustainability model that is about creating sustainable living, not simply greener housing. “Sustainable living goes beyond providing affordable rent,” says Gina […]

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  • Tax Reform Impacts Homeless Youth

    Aeon joins Minnesota Housing Partnership in support of revising the Low Income Housing Tax Credit’s “Student Rule” as part of comprehensive tax reform. Here’s why this is so important: The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is responsible for most of the affordable rental housing produced nationwide, including some properties like Aeon’s Archdale Apartments and St. Barnabas, that […]

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  • An Investment in Housing is an Investment in Education

    When a sixth-grader is asking her teacher about job opportunities (via StarTribune April 29 commentary), and adds “If I worked, then maybe my family wouldn’t lose our home,” we need to get past a debate on the ROI of bonding bills. Fear and instability are sabotaging the futures of precariously-housed young people like this sixth-grader, not to […]

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