Month: November 2017

Generous support from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

We are grateful to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for a $75,000 grant to support CommonBond’s Advantage Services. Dick Schulze and his family work to improve the lives of others by partnering with organizations that support families, provide social services, and prioritize education.  With an affordable, high-quality home as the foundation, CommonBond kids are prepared to engage in our Youth Education and Advancement programs that connect young people with caring adults, critical academic supports, and safe environments to help them succeed.

This generous gift is an increase from last year to help support this critical component of our housing and services model. CommonBond’s work helps ensure that residents of all ages are supported in long-term stability and independence. With the generosity of partners like the Schulze Family Foundation, we are able to offer programs that support residents’ efforts to achieve their goals while connecting them to the community through tailored onsite programs and services provided by CommonBond staff and other partner organizations.

Thank you again to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for the generous support!

Action steps following press conference on tax reform

CommonBond CEO Deidre Schmidt addresses reporters and audience members at Upper Post Veterans Community

CommonBond co-hosted a press conference in November 2017 to highlight the potential impact of the proposed tax reform.

Media coverage of the event and proposed tax reform includes: KARE-11 TV, Finance & Commerce, and the Des Moines Register.

Here’s what’s at stake:

  • Over the past 10 years, nearly $2 billion in private activity bonds have supported the construction of more than 15,000 affordable rental homes across the state. But the House tax reform bill eliminates that vital tool.
  • Eliminating tax exempt private activity bonds would result in a loss of 3,400 affordable rental units in MN each year.
  • Nearly 800 units of affordable housing that were awarded state funding in October 2017 would be unable to move forward if this bill passes in its current form.
  • There’s still time to make sure the Senate passes a bill that continues these vital investments in our communities.

Here’s a simple script to use to urge lawmakers to STOP tax reform measures that hurt affordable housing development:

[Sen. / Rep. / Gov. name], my name is [your name] and I live in [city/state]. I am calling to ask that you stop tax reform measures that hurt the development of affordable homes. I urge you to:

  • Preserve tax exempt private activity bonds, which have been essential to the creation of more than 15,000 affordable homes in Minnesota over the past decade.
  • Preserve the Historic Tax Credit, which has leveraged $117 billion in private investment over the past 25 years.
  • Safeguard the effectiveness of the 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit in the face of corporate tax rate reduction.
  • Invest savings from changes to the mortgage interest deduction into affordable housing rather than corporations and billionaires.

The House bill passed last week would eliminate nearly 1 million affordable rental homes nationwide over the next 10 years. Please act now to ensure tax reform invests in affordable housing and strong communities. Thank you.


Rep. Erik Paulsen (202) 225-2871 @RepErikPaulsen

Rep. Tom Emmer (202) 225-2331 @RepTomEmmer

Rep. Jason Lewis (202) 225-2271 @RepJasonLewis

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (202) 224-3244 @amyklobuchar

Sen. Al Franken (202) 224-5641 @alfranken

Gov. Mark Dayton (651) 201-3400 @GovMarkDayton

Family and community: a resident’s story of connecting with others

Taking care of others has always been in Donna Chacon’s nature.

“I love making sure everyone feels safe and has what they need,” said Donna, who has lived at Franklin Meadows near Milwaukee, Wis., for the past four years and is the floor captain in her apartment building.

Growing up on a farm in Beaver Dam, Wis., Donna and her five siblings spent their childhood days going to school, caring for the animals, and working the fields. Each weekend was spent with her elderly grandparents, helping with whatever they needed and providing companionship.

Donna loved the time she spent with her grandparents and knew she wanted to care for older adults as a career. After her parents sold their farm, Donna and the family moved into the city of Beaver Dam where she worked in a shoe factory for over 10 years. While Donna enjoyed her work there, she was eager to act on her childhood vision and start a career working with seniors.

When the factory closed, Donna began working at a nursing home and also worked as a companion for elderly people. She loved just being around as a friend to take them to the store, do their hair, and help with house cleaning. Donna has retired, but her caretaking continues at Franklin Meadows.

Donna’s three-year-old granddaughter now spends each weekday with her. “People call my granddaughter the mascot of Franklin Meadows,” says Donna. “She knows them all by heart.” The pair loves chatting with neighbors in the lobby, reading books, and taking naps together.

With four children, eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, Donna’s family is what makes her smile. Donna found out about CommonBond Communities through her son, who wanted Donna to live in a safe neighborhood and be closer to family. Previously, Donna lived in apartment building where she did not feel safe and her apartment was not well maintained.

“I don’t have to worry about anything here,” said Donna about Franklin Meadows. “It’s a comfortable place and people are very nice.” Through her work as the floor captain, Donna has become the community caretaker of the building.

She wants to make sure everyone feels as secure as she does, so she checks in with her neighbors weekly. “It’s a security blanket for everyone,” said Donna. She even goes the extra mile to make her neighbors feel cared for by writing birthday cards to every single resident on their birthday.