Friday, February 19, 2010

NoMi Revitalization Featured in National Housing Journal!

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Image from

Prompted in part by HUD Secretary Donovan's visit to NoMi last summer, the prominent National Housing Institute journal "Shelterforce" tells the story of the kinds of collaborative partnerships that have brought about success in places like the Hawthorne EcoVillage and Jordan's Cottage Park.

The article is titled, "The 'Minnesota Nice': A Culture of Collaboration." This would have been published on JNS much earlier, but Shelterforce clings somewhat to the "dead tree format" in that its online edition lags several months behind what is available in print.

The publication has all sorts of mortgage geeky, policy wonkish articles that seem like they were written with me personally in mind. But of course the best one is the one that profiles the EcoVillage and Cottage Park clusters.

(Do not click "


Anonymous said...

a collaboration amongst the same groups. it's sort of a sad reality that family housing fund and a few other people continue to define housing policy in MInneapolis for the rest of us.

gosh it's so ridiculous and i'd think someone as smart as you both would be able to figure it out.

come on guys... look deeper.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Anon 7:54 - Hey, I'm not saying the FHF or CPED or even Hawthorne is perfect. But looking at the EcoVillage and Cottage Park cluster projects (which of course may have their own flaws), it's clear to me that progress has been made and these collaborations have had at least some positive impact on our neighborhoods.

So, who's missing from this discussion? Frankly, if you're going to say something as blase as "the community," don't bother. Plenty of the people working on housing issues, myself included, bust our backs trying to engage the community. At some point we've got to move forward with the participants we've got.

And what housing policy from these few is incorrect? What needs to be addressed that isn't being addressed?

And finally, I am going to stand up for the EcoVillage regarding your insinuation that this is being "define[d]...for the rest of us." I can't think of a single major decision - and virtually all minor decisions to boot - that has been made without community input. If there has ever been a development project truly guided by the community it will impact, the EcoVillage is it.