Coalition for Rochester Area Housing

Communities in the Rochester area aspire to be vibrant, livable, inclusive places where people of all backgrounds can find ample opportunity for employment, live in safe, decent, and affordable housing, patronize local businesses, and engage as active citizens and participate in community life.

Housing is a critical part of a community’s economic infrastructure, as important as schools, roads, and bridges. Housing that is affordable to individuals and families is an essential building block of livable communities and crucial to a growing economy, enabling employers to attract and retain a qualified workforce. Rochester area communities need affordable homes to support job growth and economic development.

Together as a coalition, public and private sector leaders in the Rochester area have the capacity and resources to develop a broad and sustainable housing market that works for more people, today and into the future.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing?

The Coalition is a collaborative community program with the purpose of acquiring, investing, managing, and distributing locally originated funds and related resources to create and preserve affordable and workforce priced housing in the Rochester area.

The Rochester Area Foundation is providing administrative support for the Coalition.

How does the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing work?

Anyone can bring an idea or proposal to the coalition by contacting RAF staff or submitting an idea online. RAF and First Homes staff will work with the Housing Alliance to evaluate the ideas and help put any necessary detail behind the plan.

The Housing Alliance, which is made up of community members, nonprofit leaders, housing industry experts, advocacy groups, government leaders, and housing producers is the group that will monitor community needs, housing trends, and innovations. They will provide guidance to both RAF and First Homes Staff, and to the Leadership Council based on their broad knowledge base, diverse constituencies, and community engagement efforts.

After the staff, Housing Alliance, and pertinent outside experts have put together a detailed plan, including a financing recommendation for a specific project, it will go to the Leadership Council for their funding consideration.

The Leadership Council is a collaborative group that will come to a consensus about how, and if, they can collaboratively fund the recommended projects from their own funds. Founding members are the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic, and RAF, because those groups have committed significant resources to fund the project proposals. The Leadership Council is not a governing board, and has no collective power to determine how any particular entity’s money can be spent.  

When each member of the Leadership Council decides how much of their own resources they want to spend on a specific project, that money would go into the Rochester Area Housing Fund so that it can be distributed efficiently with appropriate oversight from Rochester Area Foundation, which will be reporting back to the specific funders and the Leadership Council.

Anyone can donate any amount to the Rochester Area Housing Fund to increase the amount of money available for these affordable housing projects. The RAF Board of Trustees will provide financial oversight to the Rochester Area Housing Fund, just like any other fund held at RAF.

Do you have to spend $250,000 to be involved in the Coalition?

No. Anyone can submit an idea to the Housing Alliance, and a donation of any amount to the Rochester Area Housing Fund makes you an official Coalition for Rochester Area Housing Supporter. Supporters receive newsletters and updates on projects, and their names will be listed on the Rochester Area Foundation website.

To be considered for participation in the Leadership Council – the financing group – a commitment of $250,000 is required. Participants in this group must have sufficient resources because the group’s role in the Coalition process is to use that funding to implement the projects that are recommended with input from the Housing Alliance.

How can I be involved in the Coalition?

Great question! The answer depends on how you want to be involved.

If you want to donate to the Coalition and become an official supporter, you can click here, and select the Rochester Area Housing Fund on the form. Donations of any amount help us provide more affordable housing in the Rochester Area.

If you have a specific idea or proposal about how to provide more affordable housing in the Rochester Area, you can email or call 507-282-0203 and ask for Steve.

If you’re interested in serving on the Housing Alliance, you can call Steve Borchardt at 507-282-0203.

If your group is interested in learning more about the lack of affordable housing in the Rochester area, you can request a presentation by emailing or calling 507-282-0203.

You can sign up for our email updates here.

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