Sunrise Banks Launches Affordable Housing Program

The bank says it has teamed up with nonprofit developer Aeon and three local foundations to prevent affordable housing units from being converted into high-rent apartments.

Sunrise Banks Launches Affordable Housing Program
Sunrise Banks hosted an event Friday to announce the launch of a program to protect affordable housing. (Photo from Sunrise Banks' social media).

St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks announced Friday that it has teamed up with housing development nonprofit Aeon and three foundations to preserve 600 units of affordable housing throughout the Twin Cities.

To launch the program, the bank has established a new entity known as Sunrise Banks Community Impact Community Development Corp. (CDC). This enables Sunrise to pool internal and external funds to support the acquisition of existing rental properties.

The three foundations—the Minneapolis Foundation, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, and the Frey Foundation—are key investors in the program. Aeon will own and manage the units.

Aeon has vowed to prevent the units from being redeveloped into pricier apartments.

“The scope of the problem our community is facing is so great that we must tackle it together,” said Alan Arthur, Aeon’s president and CEO. “Through this collaboration, we are ensuring the stability of home for hundreds of residents.”

The organizations involved in the effort said they hope the new program will be a model for cities across the country.

The Sunrise Banks Community Impact Community Development Corp. has already put permanent financing in place to preserve the affordability status of 127 housing units in a property in Brooklyn Center, according to the bank.

The properties involved in the program will be “naturally occurring” affordable housing units—properties that maintain low rents without government subsidies.

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