66 West in Edina, MN has won a 2018 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Special Needs Housing category.
66 West Apartments is the first project of its kind located in the Twin Cities suburb of Edina, a desirable area of Minnesota. 66 West creates thirty-nine units of affordable housing in a metro area that struggles to meet the affordable housing goals of the Metropolitan Council, which indicated that only eight affordable rental units had been created in Edina in the prior 14 years.
Developer Beacon Interfaith Housing and Edina Community Lutheran Church (ECLC) collaborated to plan and implement this critically needed property. ECLC played an active role in site selection and planning the building operations and services to be offered. The concept of 66 West is not to provide safety for a single night, but to provide long-term affordable housing, supportive services, and convenience to transportation and employment, while promoting the goal of upward mobility.
66 West is Hennepin County’s first high quality, permanent housing development with intensive services for young adults, ages 18-24, who were experiencing homelessness; 21 of whom experiences long-term homelessness of a year or more. Generous donations from the community supplies residents with basic necessities including housewares, bedding, and toiletries. Simpson Housing Services provides on-site services under a “housing first” philosophy. Programs include, independently living skills, employment skills, education, safety skills, financial management, and health and mental health assistance. 66 West staff have helped facilitate community-building activities by planning monthly community meals, launching a community council of residents, and organizing life skills groups.
66 West residents are shifting from surviving to thriving. Prior to moving in, many residents reported a lack of steady income and employment, but nearly all those who have lived at 66 West for a full six months are either employed or enrolled in school.
The City of Edina Metropolitan Council committed 39 units of Project Based Section 8 rental assistance through a 15-year HAP contract. Extensive state and local soft funding sources allow the property to provide safe, comfortable, service-enriched housing for a particularly vulnerable demographic. Over $2.9 million in Housing Credit equity was provided by Cinnaire.