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Mayor’s memo: Donation launches affordable housing fund

A new fund embodies the City’s trailblazing approach to affordable housing. To help get things started, former City Councilmember Jon Oleson provided a substantial donation of $5,000. The generous gift from Oleson sends a powerful message and is an inspiration.

“Jon is heavily active, particularly on the advocacy side of supporting affordable housing, and regularly attends meetings of the Bloomington Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing work group and Bloomington Housing Coalition,” Community Development Director Eric Johnson said. “It was natural for him to support this. He personally believes in the mission of affordable housing.”

Like-minded Bloomington residents are encouraged to follow Oleson’s lead and contribute to the trust fund, which supports the City’s efforts to develop affordable housing. 

“The creation of a trust fund is really a logical step to generating resources so Bloomington is upfront in the effort,” Johnson said.

The fund is part of the new Opportunity Housing Ordinance, which went into effect on September 1. The ordinance creates support for the construction of affordable housing units, establishes incentives for developers and current owners of affordable rental housing, and supplies additional protections for tenants.

The need for affordable housing affects the entire community. The City is taking measures to create and maintain affordable housing for residents for years to come. According to the Metropolitan Council, the City needs to add 845 affordable housing units by 2030.

 “If you look at issues across the state, this is arguably in the top two,” Johnson said. “We have individuals in Bloomington, we have families and seniors spending well over 45% of their income on housing costs.”

Learn more about affordable housing options in Bloomington and how to contribute to the fund at or call 952-563-8946.