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The Lumin: A New Horizon for Seniors

At CommonBond, we serve people of all ages – young people, families, veterans, and older adults. Our belief is that everyone deserves the foundation of a home. However, it is impossible to ignore the increasing demand for affordable senior housing in our communities. The Lumin – a 60-unit affordable housing development for seniors ages 62 […]

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The Lumin: A New Horizon for Seniors

At CommonBond, we serve people of all ages – young people, families, veterans, and older adults. Our belief is that everyone deserves the foundation of a home. However, it is impossible to ignore the increasing demand for affordable senior housing in our communities. The Lumin… Read More

The Radiant Opens Doors for South Dakota Residents

New affordable housing impacts lives in Rapid City The Radiant is not just any affordable housing property. When you walk into the building, you encounter a vibrant community filled with folks who are building their futures and forming connections with one another. Through potlucks, birthday celebrations, game nights,… Read More

Winter 2024 Newsletter

The Winter 2024 edition of our newsletter “HomePage” is out now! At CommonBond, you have most certainly heard us say: Home is the foundation for everything in life. This isn’t just a tagline – it is rooted in our mission and rings true for… Read More

What is Affordable Housing?

At CommonBond, we talk a lot about the importance of a home. We believe that home is the foundation for everything in life. Not only is it a place of comfort, rest, and community, but once people have the stability that a home provides, they can care for… Read More

Affordable Housing in Minnesota

For over 50 years, CommonBond Communities has worked to build stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities. On a micro level, we do this by providing affordable housing and life-enhancing services to residents at each of our 100 housing communities. However, this important work has to be paired with macro-level… Read More

DGS Foundation: The Support of Community

You may have seen that we partnered with The DGS Foundation and The Dark Clouds for the 2023 Minnesota United soccer season. The Dark Clouds are the largest supporters group of Minnesota United FC (MNUFC). The DGS Foundation… Read More

A Stable Home

What has a stable home meant for you? This is a question we often ask residents, and one I’ve personally thought about a lot. Before becoming a homeowner, spouse, and business professional, I was a single mom, living in income-based housing and utilizing the same supports CommonBond provides… Read More

A Full Circle Journey with CommonBond: Fatuma’s Story

When I was just seven years old my parents, my four siblings, and I moved into Seward Tower East, a CommonBond property in Minneapolis. We were lucky to not only find a stable home, but a caring community. People were friendly, welcoming, and willing to help… Read More

Board Member Spotlight: Eva Stevens

Supporting Stable Homes and Strong Futures CommonBond Communities is an organization made up of people serving people. Staff, volunteers, donors, partners, and residents are all integral to furthering our mission work. Our Board of Directors is another essential part of the fabric of CommonBond, and we are… Read More

Creating Strong Futures: Supporting Youth through Study Buddies

For as long as she can remember, connecting with community and volunteering have been part of Susan’s life. As a life-long Human Resources professional, she is passionate about making sure people are treated fairly. “I have always wanted to change the world and make it better, so now I get… Read More

Improved Well-Being in a Positive Community

Health & Wellness programs give seniors a boost Health & Wellness programs are a vital part of CommonBond’s Advantage Services model. Classes are provided at no cost to support residents’ capacity to thrive and remain independent. Char and her husband have lived at Silver Lake Pointe in Mounds… Read More

Summer 2023 Newsletter

The Summer 2023 edition of our newsletter “HomePage” is out now! At CommonBond, we are working every day to build vibrant communities. In this issue, we showcase an impactful Health & Wellness class, a partnership that is helping combat food insecurity in Milwaukee, the upcoming grand opening of our first… Read More

Thank you, 2023 Birdies for Hope Sponsors!

Thank you to all who joined us at North Oaks Golf Club for our annual Birdies for Hope golf event this year! It was a beautiful, sunny day on the course and a great way to support our mission. A big round of applause for all our sponsors. Read More

Advocacy at CommonBond

What the 2023 Legislative Session Could Mean for Affordable Housing The Minnesota legislature just completed an historic session where they made unprecedented and potentially transformative investments in affordable housing. This funding, plus tax breaks and policy changes, will enable CommonBond to develop and preserve additional affordable housing and help staff… Read More

DGS Foundation and CommonBond

Exciting new partnership with the DGS Foundation for 2023 MN United FC soccer season CommonBond Communities is proud to partner with the DGS Foundation and the MN Dark Clouds for the 2023 Minnesota United season. The Dark Clouds are the largest supporters group of Minnesota… Read More

Tonieh’s Story

A Foundation to Thrive On a snowy Christmas morning at the Drake Hotel in Minneapolis, Tonieh and her family were sleeping peacefully only to wake up to the smell of smoke. A fire had broken out in the hotel, which was designated as an overflow shelter… Read More

Karen’s Story

A Second Family and a New Beginning On a Thursday evening at the River Mill Senior apartment community in Watertown, Wisconsin, you’ll be greeted by the sounds of warm laughter and vibrant chatter as residents gather for a good time. Whether for birthdays, bingo, potlucks, or… Read More

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen

Helping Youth Thrive in Academics Youth programming is a unique, essential service provided to students in our communities. Without volunteers, we would not be able to offer homework help, one-on-one mentoring, college and career readiness, and so much more to youth and teens. Every day, folks… Read More

Volunteer Spotlight: Mena

Giving Back to Youth in Her Community Every day, folks generously give their time and talents to support CommonBond residents and add to the vibrancy of our communities. We offer many ways to volunteer, including Study Buddies, which matches adults with an elementary school student to help strengthen their literacy… Read More

CommonBond Advocacy 101

Supporting Policy for Affordable Housing The need for affordable housing is growing across our state and country, and advocating for policies that support this work is an important part of the solution. This winter and spring, the CommonBond Advocacy Responders (CAR) committee has been engaging in policy advocacy at the… Read More

Board Member Spotlight: Jackie Turner

Building Strong Communities  At CommonBond, we know we wouldn’t be able to build stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities without the support of so many who come together to help make it happen. From staff, interns, and volunteers to donors, partners, and advocates, we all continue to work… Read More

Winter 2023 Newsletter

The Winter 2023 edition of our newsletter “HomePage” is out now! Every day at CommonBond, staff, residents, volunteers, and supporters are working together to improve our communities. This issue celebrates a $1 million grant that directly supports Wisconsin residents, our groundbreaking of The Lumin in December, the efforts of our… Read More

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging at CommonBond

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”  –Audre Lorde  Origin and Why this Work is Important to our Organization  In 1971, social justice and racial reckonings sparked… Read More

What is the Difference Between a Contribution and a Donation?

‘Donation’ and ‘contribution’ are words often used interchangeably, but they aren’t true synonyms when it comes to philanthropy, as they can mean different things. Donations and contributions are both great options for giving to nonprofits; however, it’s good to know the difference between the two so you better understand how… Read More

The Power of Home- Fekri’s Story

My name is Fekri, and I want to tell you my story. When I emigrated from Ethiopia in 2006 and moved to a brand-new country, it brought up a lot of emotions for me. I felt overwhelmed with all the new things I had to learn like the… Read More

Fall 2022 Newsletter

The Fall 2022 edition of our newsletter “HomePage” is out now! In this month’s newsletter, we tell stories of resilience through residents who transitioned out of homelessness to live at a CommonBond community. We also highlight a CommonBond staff member who shares a personal connection to our work and celebrate… Read More

What is GivingTuesday, and How to Contribute

GivingTuesday in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and across the globe, began in 2012, and returns on Tuesday, Nov. 29 for its 11th year. GivingTuesday provides a great opportunity for people to look past the usual Thanksgiving-related retail events — such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday — by donating… Read More

What is Give to the Max Day in Minnesota, and How to Contribute

Give to the Max Day is a Minnesota-based, one-day initiative started by GiveMN in 2009 to help raise money for participating nonprofit organizations and schools. The event is held on a Thursday each November, with Give to the Max Day 2022 set to take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, with… Read More

Health & Wellness Spotlight: A Vibrant Community

“Health & Wellness programs are more than just exercise, lectures, and workshops; our programs offer residents an opportunity to share experiences, encourage one another, and learn from each other.” – Gail  At CommonBond, Advantage Services — life-enhancing services that provide support and… Read More

Partnership Spotlight: Room & Board

Room & Board has been a friend and partner to CommonBond Communities since 2011. Not only has Room & Board supported CommonBond through in-kind and monetary donations and involvement in our annual Celebration of Home Gala, but they have participated in several volunteer projects throughout the years at a variety… Read More

7 Ways You Can Help Fight Poverty in Your Community

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 7.8 million people have fallen into poverty—the biggest jump in a single year since the government began tracking poverty 60 years ago. It’s easy to think about poverty as a national crisis that is bigger than you, but there… Read More

A Guide to Types of Donations to Nonprofits

When it comes to the types of donations one can make to a nonprofit, the possibilities are nearly endless. From providing your time and resources with in-kind donations to establishing a legacy donation after your death, CommonBond relies on the generosity and philanthropy of people like you to provide services… Read More

A Helping Hand

Alberta moved into Garden Terrace Commons in Little Canada in 2016 and has since garnered a reputation as the “go-to lady” for everything. All her life, Alberta has liked to keep busy, and her time at Garden Terrace has been no exception. “I’ve never been one to sit… Read More

August 2022 Newsletter

The August 2022 edition of our newsletter “HomePage” is out now! This month’s newsletter is all about community. We discuss the many ways in which residents take leadership in their communities and showcase our Arts & Aging and Health & Wellness programs, which play a huge role in fostering connection… Read More

Real Estate Highlight: Recent Closings

At CommonBond, we are pleased to announce the recent closings of three exciting, new-construction properties on the horizon. A real estate closing occurs when all final due diligence has been complete, loan and equity documents are finalized, and the funding team authorizes funding. This is the point… Read More

Piece by Piece: Connection through Collage

Earlier this year, nine individuals from four different CommonBond housing communities participated in a class called Collage! From Scraps to Works of ART led by teaching artist Lynda Monick-Isenberg as part of our Arts and Aging programs. The class took place over the course of eight weeks… Read More

How to Leave a Legacy with Different Types of Donations

While similar in many ways to regular charitable donations, legacy donations — or legacy gifts — work a little differently because they require planning ahead and having a long-term outlook that is meant to help sustain the charitable organization you have chosen. They are also different in that many people… Read More

April 2022 Newsletter

We are excited to announce that our reinvigorated Newsletter- “HomePage”-  is officially out! This month’s newsletter focuses on Supportive Housing-  an aspect of our services work that combines safe, quality affordable housing with voluntary, but extensive, support services for community members facing repeated experiences of housing instability or homelessness. Our… Read More

Market-Rate Housing vs. Affordable Housing

Market-rate housing is key to planning in most cities throughout the United States. However, as housing prices climb faster than income levels in the vast majority of areas, with property tax and rent increasing beyond the means of area residents, low-income renters often end up having to relocate to… Read More

Building Community through Personal Stories

This past fall, six individuals from four different CommonBond housing communities took part in a writing class called Diving In: Writing Life Stories led by teaching artist Rachel Moritz as part of our Arts and Aging programs. For eight weeks, participants attended class via… Read More

Our last 50th Anniversary Art Piece!

As our 50th anniversary year comes to a close, we are happy to announce our last 50th Anniversary Art Piece! Throughout this year, we released locally-commissioned art pieces, each representing our anniversary theme, “Our Neighbors, Our Communities.” Today, we’re excited to share the final finished piece!  Click… Read More

December Decade Wrap Up: the 2010s and Onward

For December, our last #CBC50 post is focused on our most recent history—the 2010s.  The 2010s were marked by continued expansion, especially throughout Milwaukee. We spent time researching the effects of our programs and gained new insight about Social Return on Investment (SROI) due to our… Read More

What Is Generational Wealth, and How Does Housing Fit In?

At CommonBond, we believe affordable housing is at the core of every aspect of a person’s life. It’s the foundation on which families rely on, no matter their financial status, for safety and stability. Unfortunately, Minnesota has the worst housing shortage in the… Read More

November Decade Reflection: Featuring the 2000s

It’s November, which means we’re sharing #CBC50 history from the 2000s to celebrate 50 years of stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities. This was an exciting decade because we expanded for the first time into two other states: Wisconsin and Iowa. We also acquired our… Read More

October Decade Reflection: Featuring the 1990s

The ‘70s and ‘80s brought many challenges our way, but also resulted in growth, strength…and many name changes! During the ‘90s, we officially became CommonBond Communities. We also gave our resident services programs a name—Advantage Centers—coined by residents at Yorkdale Townhomes in Edina.  Preservation of affordable… Read More

What Causes the Lack of Affordable Housing in Minnesota?

Now more than ever we are seeing a lack of affordable housing in Minnesota. When we refer to affordable housing, we are talking about housing for those whose income falls below the median household income recognized by the local government.  So, what causes… Read More

September Decade Reflection: Featuring the 1980s

For the month of September we are bringing you another #CBC50 reflection, this month featuring history from the 1980s. During the ‘80s, we expanded our services side of the organization by hiring social workers, teachers, community organizers and other human service professionals. This laid the foundation for our… Read More

Celebrating 50 Years, Decade by Decade

As we continue to celebrate 50 years of affordable housing in the Twin Cities, we’re looking back to how it all started, and how our history can help guide the path ahead. Every month through December, we’ll be sharing a piece of CommonBond history from each decade, starting with the… Read More

A Conversation with Faith Agboola

If you’ve followed our work for a while, you may remember Faith Agboola, former CommonBond resident and current student at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, from her feature in our 2020 Celebration at Home Gala. As part of our 50th anniversary year theme, “Our Neighbors, Our Communities,” we were… Read More

What Is Considered Affordable Housing and Why it Matters

We believe a stable home is the foundation for everything in life. Being able to afford a safe place to live is a key part of the American dream of opportunity—and as we expand into our fourth state, we know too many folks in Rapid City, S.D., can’t… Read More

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities in Milwaukee Right Now

Volunteering is a critical way to support your neighbors and to show up for your community. By selecting a cause or organization you feel passionate about supporting, you can help create positive change. To help, we’ve put together a guide of volunteer opportunities that will make a difference in<… Read More

“You’ve Got Mail” – A Mixed Media Art Class

This past spring, 7 individuals from 4 different CommonBond housing communities took part in a Mixed Media: Drawing, Painting, and Collage card class called “You’ve Got Mail” led by teaching artist Courtney Miller Bellairs as part of our Arts and Aging programs. For eight weeks, participants attended… Read More

Midway Peace Park opens in St. Paul

Midway Peace Park is officially open after two years of construction, and a decade of advocacy and planning! Once a couple vacant yards and a crumbling parking lot, the space has now officially opened to the public as a beautiful park with a playground, community gathering areas, and green… Read More

In this housing market, we must remember renters.

It seems every conversation I have lately involves the price of housing or the challenges people are facing in the current market. Admittedly, most of the people I speak with are referencing the homeownership market. In many of those conversations, there’s a sense of mild disbelief as folks share stories… Read More

Community within Buildings: An Inside Look at Advantage Services

CommonBond Communities focuses on housing stability, and we do so not only by building and preserving affordable homes within communities. An integral part of our work happens inside communities, inside apartment buildings, where our Advantage Services staff work with residents to connect them with resources and help them reach… Read More

Celebrating 50 years: Thank you for stepping up!

As we reflect on our 50th anniversary, we wanted to acknowledge how critical it is that the folks who support our mission have continued to show up—despite the many new challenges of the past year. From additional donations, to adapting to virtual volunteering, to attending online events, CommonBond supporters have… Read More

Rental Assistance Helps Residents Fill in the Gaps

It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting our communities, changing nearly everything in our daily lives. Amidst many continued challenges, we pause to recognize the impact of neighbors helping neighbors. Throughout the last year, the CommonBond team—with the help of many generous supporters—raised funds and worked… Read More

National Volunteer Week: Thank You!

It’s National Volunteer Week, and this year, we are deeply grateful to all who have continued to offer their time and energy to support CommonBond residents in reaching their goals. It’s been a challenging year in so many ways, but we’ve been able to keep offering critical programs and services… Read More

Collective Leadership for a Promising Future

As part of our 50th anniversary theme “Our Neighbors, Our Communities,” all three CEOs from throughout CommonBond’s history came together for a conversation about our past and how it can inform our future. Their dialogue reminds us that a commitment to justice and to community, in all its forms, must always… Read More

We’re excited to share: An anniversary art piece!

As we continue celebrating our 50th anniversary year, we are happy to announce a first-time initiative: throughout the year, we’ll be releasing four locally-commissioned art pieces, each representing our anniversary theme, “Our Neighbors, Our Communities.” Today, we’re excited to share the first finished piece!  Click the image… Read More

Where Affordable Housing Fits into Ending Homelessness

A question we hear a lot is, “where does CommonBond fit into ending homelessness?” And the answer lies in our mission and belief that a home is the foundation for everything else in life. While we don’t offer emergency shelter like many organizations focusing on homelessness, affordable housing is fundamentally… Read More

Even Remotely, Art Creates Connections

When the pandemic began to impact our communities nearly a year ago, CommonBond’s Arts and Aging programs were forced to pause and pivot. While it took some time to navigate the logistics of translating these typically in-person arts classes to a remote setting, staff were committed to finding solutions… Read More

Employee Appreciation Day: Grand Key Award

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, we’re proud to announce our 2020 Grand Key Award winner, Hayley Nemmers! The Grand Key Award is presented each year to a CommonBond staff member who has been nominated by their coworkers for dedication to their team, residents, and our mission. One of the… Read More

Milwaukee’s Bronzeville & King Drive: A Discussion with Ray Hill and Deshea Agee

As part of our 50th Anniversary theme “Our Neighbors, Our Communities,” Ray Hill, Milwaukee native and CommonBond’s leader in Wisconsin, recently sat down for a conversation with Deshea Agee, Executive Director of the Historic King Drive Business Improvement District in Milwaukee. Their dialogue reminds us that strong partnerships and relationships—between… Read More

Defining a new “normal”

I’m hearing pining for a “return to normal.” I can understand it—the pandemic has affected us all in ways that range from inconvenient to downright devastating—but I’ve been thinking a lot about how I hope “back to normal” isn’t actually our path forward. ‘Normal’ won’t be good enough. ‘Normal’ was… Read More

Then & Now: A conversation with Ed Flahavan

  Former Catholic priest Ed Flahavan was instrumental in the founding of CommonBond Communities (CBC). Ed has always been deeply engaged in community; among other roles, he was a civil rights activist motivated by liberation theology, as well as a voter registration organizer. He observed once that he “never felt… Read More

Why Eviction Prevention Is Worth the Social Return on Investment (SROI)

Understanding the return on someone’s investment is nuanced: there’s the dollar-for-dollar return (if I invest a dollar, how much am I getting back?) but then there’s social return on investment (SROI) that looks at the investment from a much broader perspective. What Is Social Return on Investment? Social return on… Read More

How to Become a Strong Advocate for Affordable Housing

Advocacy can sound like a big word filled with to-do lists and action items. The truth is that there is a broad range of ways in which you can be an advocate, and all of them are important. On the most basic level, affordable housing advocates are those who take… Read More

Recent funding awards help create new homes

While 2020 has not been an easy year for anyone, our communities remain resilient. We’re so grateful to everyone who continued supporting our work amidst the challenges, and we recently received exciting news that gives us even more hope for a better and stronger 2021: CommonBond received funding awards from… Read More

The Impact of Community: Toys for Tots Distribution in Iowa

As 2020 comes to a close, we are immensely grateful for all of our supporters, community partners, volunteers, and staff who make our work building stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities possible. While this year has introduced very real challenges that have threatened stability for so many folks in… Read More

“Like Night and Day” – George’s story

My name is George (you might have seen my video recently), and I’ve been a resident at Upper Post Veterans Community for about five years. As the end of the year gets closer, I’m sharing my story because I know how important it is for… Read More

2020 Most Admired CEOs: Deidre Schmidt, CommonBond Communities

Earlier this year, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal announced their list of “2020 Most Admired CEOs,” and included was CommonBond Communities CEO and President Deidre Schmidt. She is among 10 Minnesota CEOs recognized for professional achievements, community involvement, and steady leadership. We are especially grateful to have such… Read More

Safe Connections and Creative Expression through Youth Arts Programming

As communities and individuals, we’ve all experienced, in some capacity, the extraordinary challenges of adapting to the new realities of the pandemic; you’ve likely also experienced the joy that comes with opportunities to safely connect with others and doing something you love amidst great stress and uncertainty in our communities. Read More

How Communities Benefit from Affordable Housing and Built-In Services

The need for affordable housing is more necessary than ever, not only for those who rely on this housing, but for neighborhoods that need the community benefits of affordable housing. With the continued fallout from COVID-19, the social benefits of affordable housing actually help entire communities—which is something that isn’t… Read More

Remembering Dutchess, and Celebrating New Friendship

If you’ve ever visited our Upper Post Veteran’s Community, you probably met Dutchess. A sweet, gentle Golden Retriever, she was known for seeking out individuals who might be stressed or anxious, and sitting on their feet to offer her soft head for a few pets. She was a loyal friend… Read More

Twin Cities Masks Distribution: Helping Neighbors Stay Safe

Throughout the summer, CommonBond Communities was happy to serve as the Twin Cities distribution site for Minnesota affordable housing providers to pick up donated masks for their residents. The distribution events were part of a larger mask distribution initiative driven by the Governor’s Office to ensure that everyone—including those who… Read More

6 Ways Affordable Housing Can Boost Local Economies

Affordable housing is, unfortunately, a topic that’s largely misunderstood by the public. Myths and misconceptions about affordable housing developments are based on fear around negative stereotypes, property values, and the change it brings to neighborhoods—all of which are common arguments in opposition of a new affordable housing community. In reality,… Read More

School’s back in session, and we’re ready to help.

It’s no surprise that back-to-school looks different this year. Parents and teachers alike have grappled with what’s best for youth and families ever since COVID-19 closed schools and many workplaces in March. Months later, there are still conflicting answers. But we have been working relentlessly, re-imagining our options to ensure… Read More

Lifting Spirits with Art at Northpoint and Falls Meadowridge

Amidst all of the difficulties that COVID-19 has introduced, CommonBond staff are committed to finding ways to connect and spark some joy within our communities. Recently, staff at Northpoint Townhomes and Falls Meadowridge Townhomes organized some creative remote activities with their residents to help lift spirits. The “Color Northpoint Beautiful”… Read More

1,700 Masks Later, A Resident Keeps Sewing for her Community

In spite of all the challenges that COVID-19 has brought, one resident at Yorkdale has found a way to keep herself busy at home and support her community by putting her sewing skills to work—personally making and donating masks for friends, family, and community members. Read more about her community… Read More

4 Nonprofits Helping Iowa Derecho Storm Victims

Last week, many communities and homes were devastated by an extreme weather event called a derecho storm in Iowa. The derecho—a massive, long-lasting storm with hurricane qualities characterized by extreme winds and thunderstorms—flattened power lines and fields of crops, and caused severe damage to homes and businesses across the state. Read More

CommonBond’s Continued Expansion Efforts across the Midwest

With the economic repercussions of COVID-19 continuing to threaten the health of our communities, the need for homes that are safe and affordable is more urgent than ever. In the face of great instability for so many renters across the country, CommonBond Communities remains deeply committed to providing supportive services… Read More

How to Volunteer in Iowa Right Now

The health crises of COVID-19 and civil unrest have tested cities across the country. In Eastern Iowa, cities including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport share these struggles and are grappling with how to serve their most vulnerable populations. Record-high unemployment has left many Iowans without a steady… Read More

Increasing Affordability in the Greater Twin Cities Area

The end of July brought two exciting property and land acquisitions—Willow Wood Estates property in Plymouth (pictured above), and Owasso Gardens land in Roseville. These purchases will result in 100 more units of affordable housing for communities in the greater Twin Cities area! Located at 10850 South Shore Drive just… Read More

Notice of security incident

To provide full transparency for supporters of CommonBond Communities, we want to share that a third-party vendor we contract with experienced a security breach. Blackbaud, which hosts our database containing CommonBond supporters (and is the largest cloud software company in the world serving nonprofits), had a ransomware attack on its… Read More

Meadow Village: A Critical Preservation in Milwaukee

After acquisition of Meadow Village in early May, CommonBond Communities has now closed on rehabilitation financing for this 90-unit, Section 8 housing community in the north central part of Milwaukee! Meadow Village provides critical affordable housing for Milwaukee families—in a city where evictions and access to housing have been pressing… Read More

The Court is Finished!

Last November, we set a goal to raise $32,000 on Give to the Max Day in order to create a new, safe play space for our Torre de San Miguel community in St. Paul, MN. The basketball and play court needed major work—in the past few years, between… Read More

CommonBond’s Involvement at the Ford Site

CommonBond is excited to be involved in the Ford site redevelopment in St. Paul! Our four-story, 60-unit senior housing community will be just south of Ryan Companies’ six-level mixed-use building planned at the northeast corner of the site. We’re set to begin construction in early 2021. We are proud to… Read More

In solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community

At CommonBond, we’re taking a moment to celebrate! Today, the Supreme Court said the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Until today, a worker could be fired in more than half the states for… Read More

Caring for One Another During COVID-19

Community has always been at the heart of our work. Amidst so much uncertainty and crisis, finding ways to care for our communities and to stay connected is critically important. Especially during these times, it’s necessary to remember that there will always be folks in our communities who… Read More

Supporting Students: Learning Can’t Stop Now

Around this time last year, we wrote about what’s called the “summer slide,” which is when students lose some of the academic gains they made during the previous school year. Avoiding the summer slide takes intentional focus on reading and learning, and for families with low incomes, this can… Read More

His name was George Floyd.

A message from our leader, Deidre Schmidt: I am writing to reflect on the May 25th killing by a Minneapolis police officer of an unarmed black man who was suspected of a non-violent offense. His name was George Floyd. The grotesque disregard for his humanity and brutal ending of his… Read More

Nourishing Neighbors: Increasing Food Access During COVID-19

It’s no question that COVID-19 has introduced incredible, unprecedented challenges to our communities. Amidst all the challenges, however, are great examples of connection and community members going out of their way to support neighbors. We are happy to share one of these moments of community-building that’s happening—in spite of the… Read More

CommonBond Communities CEO among ‘Most Admired’

CommonBond Communities CEO and President, Deidre Schmidt, has been named one of the “2020 Most Admired CEOs” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Deidre is among 10 Minnesota honorees recognized for professional achievements, community involvement, and overall leadership. She has been the CEO of CommonBond since 2014. Deidre possesses a… Read More

Deidre Schmidt on America’s Rental Housing 2020

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their America’s Rental Housing 2020 report, outlining the extremely tight rental market nationwide and the rising number of cost-burdened renters. Local governments are often on the front line of these issues, and because of Minneapolis’ bold… Read More

Pohlad Family Foundation dedicates $500K for Gateway Northeast

As you may know, 2019 was a year of tremendous growth for CommonBond. Between 2019 and 2020, we will have been acquiring, rehabbing, and constructing more than 900 units of affordable housing. Many people wonder how we fund all of this development—the truth is that it takes numerous partners… Read More

A foundation for taking steps

Homelessness and mental illness are often directly connected. For Anna, a CommonBond supporter, both have had a huge effect on her family through her daughter’s experience. Read as she shares part of her daughter’s story, and how finding stability within her CommonBond community is reshaping her daughter’s life and their… Read More

Let’s Fix the Court — Give to the Max!

Think back to when you were growing up. Where do some of your favorite childhood memories take place? Maybe it was your backyard, a cabin, or the nearby playground. For CommonBond youth at our Torre de San Miguel property, the place for making memories is on the basketball court at… Read More

Bringing Midway Peace Park to Life

After 10 years of advocating, organizing, and designing, Midway Peace Park is now under construction in St. Paul—and a celebration was very much in order! Recently, the St. Paul Midway neighborhood hosted a party called “The Park is Coming” to celebrate this monumental community feature. It was also a chance… Read More

Meet Rachel, Grand Key Award winner

We’re proud to announce our 2019 Grand Key Award winner, Rachel Ladd, who was presented with the award (and a well-deserved Wonder Woman headband) at CommonBond’s all-staff retreat. Rachel is an Advantage Services Coordinator at our Yorkdale Townhomes community in Edina, MN. The Grand Key Award honors an employee who… Read More

Creating Opportunities for Vibrant Lives

 “In this building there is purpose. That’s the most important thing about this building.” – Judy, a CommonBond resident Throughout life, we’re all looking for a feeling of belonging and purpose. But as we age, that sense of… Read More

School’s out for summer. Now what?

Rachel Ladd is a CommonBond Advantage Services Coordinator at Yorkdale Townhomes in Edina, MN. Think back—can you remember that last-day-of-school feeling? The promise of summer freedom is usually irresistible. But after the first week of sleeping in and playing video games all day, the boredom sets in. And when a… Read More

We’re coming to Rapid City!

We’re excited to share we are expanding the geography of our work by teaming up with great partners in Rapid City, South Dakota! With plans to begin acquiring and developing in 2020, we’re working closely with Rapid City leaders and advocates to not only positively impact housing needs, but also… Read More

Stopping the Summer Slide

With warm weather consistently rolling in, many people are excited for what finally feels to be the start of summer. Family vacations, baseball games, and grilling out are welcome anticipations. But buried under these fun plans is a problem that many families struggle with: how do we keep kids cared… Read More

Four Eviction Myths

Evictions are traumatic, and over the years, we’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about them. We can all agree that evictions are bad, but the impacts are a lot farther reaching than most realize. So, we want to take a minute to share a few of the more… Read More

Success in housing: How much does criminal background matter?

For more than three years, Aeon, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, CommonBond Communities and Project for Pride in Living have joined forces (and data) to learn more about the relationship between criminal history and success in housing. This is a first-of-its-kind study, and we’re proud to finally announce the results of… Read More

Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Sean

Late in 2016, Sean Reisman was searching for a volunteer opportunity. An attorney by day, Sean wanted a meaningful way to connect with his community, and his goal was two-fold: First, he needed an outlet outside of litigation work to dedicate some time and resources to. Second, he wanted that… Read More

News: Volunteers and Working for a Better St. Paul

CommonBond is proud to partner with Interfaith Action Coalition, who help connect our volunteer tutor opportunities with engaged members of faith communities in and around St. Paul.  Read an article by their president, Randi Roth, about their vision for a more compassionate greater St. Paul!… Read More

Building Community at Westminster Place

The youth at Westminster Place walk into the community room, excitedly chattering and laughing with each other. Without breaking stride, they head over to the space where the reading mats are folded and stacked neatly. Following some negotiations about who gets which mat, the kids greet the volunteer reader, lay… Read More

National Night Out at Granada Lakes Townhomes

This past August, the CommonBond team at Granada Lakes Townhomes hosted a lively National Night Out for their community, complete with a fire truck, face painting, and a raffle for prizes. “We had a great turn out, and the youth and adults really had fun,” said Jelanna LaFleur-Donaby, the Youth… Read More

News: Asylum seekers safe in Cedar Rapids

Asylum seekers safe in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after crossing 10 countries “The first night we slept here is the first day I felt at peace since we started our journey,” Mutonji said. “I feel like I can start to build my life again.” After a grueling, perilous journey, one family has… Read More

Dublin Crossing Brings Affordable Housing to Mankato

“It’s really about providing people who do good and necessary jobs in Mankato with a place they can afford to live in a good location.” With the development of the region outpacing housing, we’re excited to be part of the much-needed affordable options in the Mankato community! Learn more about… Read More

Eviction Prevention: It’s at the Heart of our Work

Evictions are challenging. And every eviction costs money to the resident as well as our entire community. We recently engaged Ernst & Young to study the impact of our Eviction Prevention services for residents. Better understanding this program—which is at the core of our Advantage Services model—helps us talk… Read More

Building Community Connections: Meet Officer Marks

For the past two summers, Officer Scott Marks has spent his Tuesday afternoons building bottle rockets, potting plants, and hanging out with kids in the summer program at CommonBond’s Crown Ridge community. Marks is the Community Engagement Officer for the City of Minnetonka Police Department, and feels that as part… Read More

Skyline Tower Teens Help Envision Midway Peace Park

The Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area is a national leader in accessible parks and open space. But for the residents of St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood, finding open, outdoor spaces has proven to be more of a challenge. Luckily, some youth residents at CommonBond’s Skyline Tower community have been heavily involved in… Read More

News: Affordable Housing Finance Magazine

We recently connected with Affordable Housing Finance to discuss the growing issue of a lack of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (often referred to as NOAH), and how we are working to overcome this challenge in our communities. You can read more and link to the article directly here. For… Read More

Story: Exploring our Mark

After 10 weeks of developing their artistic skills through classes, the residents of Riverview Apartments showcased their work at “Exploring Our Mark,” an art exhibition hosted at the Schmidt Artist Lofts in St. Paul. The classes and exhibit were part of a partnership between CommonBond Communities and EngAGE, a nonprofit… Read More

Our Impact in 2017

We had a busy and exciting year in 2017. In partnership with residents, community partners, and donors, we helped change lives, improved homes, and expanded opportunities. Read our annual report for highlights!… Read More

Story: A Home to Heal and Grow

Finding stability in a CommonBond home means something different for every person that moves in. It might mean creating a stable base from which to reach other goals, or finding a community that supports and empowers. Perhaps it’s finally finding peace in a home that is comfortable and nicely maintained. Read More

Story: Coincidental Connection

Residents’ stories are at the heart of CommonBond’s work. Sometimes these stories involve huge milestones, like making a move toward homeownership. Others—like this one—are remarkable stories born from a seemingly ordinary experience while living in a CommonBond community. CommonBond is dedicated to providing residents with the resources they need to… Read More

Story: A Move Toward Homeownership

In 2011, Talise Owens-Hundley moved into Glenbrook Apartments as a single mother with two young girls. Talise was grateful for the help she was receiving, including rent assistance and food stamps, but knew she wanted more for both herself and her family. “I wanted to get off the system,” Talise… Read More

News: Gifted Storytellers

How CommonBond Elders Found Their Inner Creativity On a cold January evening, four senior residents from CommonBond’s Riverview Senior Housing in Minneapolis got up on a stage at Pillsbury House Theater to share personal life stories with a live audience. Some stories were warm and brief, some rhymed… Read More

Story: Community Matters

Vidalina Cruz and her sidekick, Snickers the Maltese, live at Franklin Meadows near Milwaukee, WI.  “Having a stable place to live makes me feel wonderful every day,” says Vida. “My home is like a coat that covers me up from the cold, it gives me comfort just like a winter… Read More

News: Building on Generosity

Existing Apartments Become CommonBond Communities In August 2016, CommonBond acquired its first unsubsidized property — 112 rental apartments and townhomes located just south of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. Through its Housing Opportunity Fund, CommonBond Communities provides investors — specifically people who are interested in making a social impact —… Read More
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