Over the past year, our association has accomplished some incredible milestones together. As we approach a new year, we want to take a moment to reflect on everything we’ve achieved in 2023.
As your industry association and the leading voice for housing in Minnesota, our responsibilities have never been more important. With shifting market dynamics, a tight labor market, and other regulatory headwinds, our industry has faced a unique set of challenges throughout the last year.
Nevertheless, our industry remains strong. Together we have defended our industry while promoting and elevating the significance of homeownership for everyone, everywhere.
Below you will find a brief collection of some of our successes throughout 2023.
Celebrated 75 Years of the Parade of Homes in the Twin Cities
This fall, the Parade of Homes celebrated 75 years of helping Minnesotans find builders, remodelers, design inspiration, and new homes. What started as a single “trend home” in Edina, has grown to an event featuring hundreds of homes across the Twin Cities. This milestone was celebrated throughout the Fall Parade of Homes with various events, giveaways, and even a commemorative signature brew in partnership with Bauhaus Brew Labs.
Defended Our Industry Against a New Housing Tax
Despite an aggressive push from many local governments and their associations, we were successful in halting the creation of a new homeownership tax. This is a topic the industry has been engaged in for many years following the landmark ruling in Harstad v. Woodbury that ruled cities do not have the authority to charge this tax. The language had the potential to raise the cost of housing by $5,000-$10,000 per home.
Connected With Our Local Communities at Our Pop-Up Celebrations
We took the 75th anniversary celebration on the road and hosted four pop-up community events during the Fall Parade of Homes. Each event was hosted at a different Parade of Homes community and featured something for every tour-goer – from workout classes to free coffee to puppies!
Marked 10 Years of the Artisan Home Tour
It was a big year for our home tours! 2023 marked the 10th anniversary of our Artisan Home Tour, first launched in 2014. In our first edition of the tour, 25 Artisan homes were showcased — a number that has remained fairly consistent throughout the last decade to maintain the tour’s exclusive, boutique feel. Additionally, the fall edition of the Artisan Home Tour was officially launched and was a resounding success!
Built a Coalition With Housing Industry Stakeholders
Our statewide poll confirmed that housing affordability and zoning reform are becoming top-of-mind issues for Minnesota voters. Zoning reform is both good policy and good politics. With that in mind, more and more legislators and interested parties at the Capitol are preparing for meaningful progress on housing policy reform in the coming 2024 legislative session. The largest and most diverse group of stakeholders that we have ever seen is prepared to advocate for more housing options across the state.
Workforce Program Coming in 2024
Behind the scenes this year, Housing First Minnesota has been hard at work developing a next-generation workforce development program. We’ve re-established our Workforce Development Committee, created a speaker’s bureau, and will announce an exciting new partnership in the new year.
Green Path Program Scales New Heights
Our industry builds some of the highest-performing homes in the nation and Minnesota’s Green Path Home Performance Reports (HPRs) are the trusted source to share testing and performance measures. In 2023 we surpassed 42,000 total HPRs issued since the program’s inception. Plus, a sold-out Green Path Conference was held in November featuring a video tour of a Green Path Master Certified Home, a panel of energy raters, and attendees learned about a resilient wall system.
Broke Fundraising Records at the Foundation Gala
The Housing First Minnesota Foundation celebrated its ninth annual gala in the spring and raised nearly $400,000 for Minnesotans experiencing homelessness! The event was completely sold out with 450 builders, remodelers, trade partners, and supporters in attendance. The program featured remarks from community partners and residents who were directly impacted by the Foundation’s programs.
Contractor University Receives Online Certification
In our ongoing efforts to serve and educate our industry, we continue to invest in online education opportunities. Housing First Minnesota’s education arm, Contractor University, received IACET Certification, setting us up for another 5 years as the leading online contractor education provider in Minnesota.
Hosted the Inaugural Housing Leadership Summit
2023 was an exciting year for Housing First Minnesota’s housing policy think tank, Housing Affordability Institute. With much to celebrate, the highlight of the year was the 2023 Housing Leadership Summit. Housing policy experts from across the country joined Housing First Minnesota’s members in highlighting how to address the housing affordability and access challenges in Minnesota and states across the country.
Completed 18,000 Square Feet of Dignified Supportive Housing
In 2023, the Housing First Minnesota Foundation, in partnership with build partners Lennar and Nor-Son Custom Homes and service partners MACV and Avivo, built an astonishing 18,000 square feet of dignified supportive housing for Minnesotans in need. These spaces will be home to approximately 40 individuals this year alone!
Continued to Foster Industry Connections with a New Event Series
We know that a big part of being a Housing First Minnesota member is the ability to connect and network with industry peers. With that in mind, we launched a brand-new event series this year aimed at just that! Our quarterly Members Only events provided opportunities for members to connect with industry peers, meet new partners, and get to know the newest members of the association during happy hour. Each event also featured industry and business experts who shared their insights and helped members grow and develop their own businesses.