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Our Story

CommonBond Communities was formed in 1971 with the ambition to create housing options that were affordable for all. With ongoing racial and economic injustices following the turbulent 1960s, our founding members were driven by the belief that all people have a right to a place they can call their own. Learn more from one of our founders, Ed Flahavan, about how CommonBond was started.

From our first half-time employee, we’ve grown over the decades to become one the most effective affordable housing providers in the Upper Midwest, working in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Injustices still exist — and are increasingly more complex. Our housing & services model includes providing naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH), as well as negotiating real estate transactions for new construction and other developments, and providing onsite support for residents. Through this model, we’ve made incredible progress in housing development integrated with supportive services for those most in need in our communities. Today, we have more than 7,000 rental apartments and townhomes across 60 cities.

For five decades, CommonBond has built strong neighborhoods, created community leaders, engaged thousands of volunteers, all working together to ensure residents have the tools needed to achieve their goals.

We’ve learned that listening is the foundation for our work. As we develop and manage properties, we take the time to understand the strengths and needs of the residents that will live in our communities. When we combine the homes for residents to live in with services that support them when times get tough, we see phenomenal outcomes for families, youth, seniors, veterans, and our neighborhoods. 

Our beliefs in dignity, respect, and inclusiveness for all people are the driving forces behind our commitment to CommonBond residents. From high-quality buildings to life-changing support services, we create environments and experiences that help each resident meet their goals and live their best lives.

Finding Long-lasting
Stability

47
Last year, staff worked with 47 families as they moved into homeownership, helping them continue on a path to long-lasting stability.

Planning For
Bright Futures

92%
92% of teens engaged in future and post-secondary school planning through the Teen Programs.

Building Community

2,359
Last year, 2,359 residents and community members participated in community-building events.

We’re proud to develop and manage urban, suburban, and rural housing communities across more than 56 cities in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Affordable housing in Ramsey, MN

Sunwood Village is a 47-unit family housing property is part of a major community development effort in Ramsey, Minnesota to bring jobs, expand the regional economy, and provide access to parks, trails, shopping, and the Northstar Rail. It offers a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Sunwood Village is reserved for households earning 30% to 60% of the area median income.

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Supportive Housing

Lexington Commons is designed for single adults who meet the state definition of long-term homelessness, and single adults who meet the federal definition of chronic homelessness. It features 48 efficiency apartments. An adaptive reuse of a former nursing home built in the 1960s, Lexington Commons was designed to achieve LEED certification.

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Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)

The purchase of Boulder Ridge is the first of many in CommonBond’s deliberate effort to counter the loss of affordable housing options. Boulder Ridge was the first naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) acquisition through our CommonBond Housing Opportunity Fund. It provides affordable housing for those with low to moderate incomes.

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Urban Redevelopment in Minneapolis

The Cooperage is a new construction project in Minneapolis that provides 60 units of housing for seniors ages 62 and older. Conveniently located within ¼ mile of a Central Corridor Light Rail Transit stop, it’s also connected to trails. This is CommonBond’s first project to feature solar panels. It’s also one of the first two mixed-financing HUD 202 projects in Minnesota.

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We see the need for day-to-day support to face the hurdles and systems that challenge stability. We know that when individuals thrive, we all win. It's why we’re driven to keep making the communities we impact, stronger.