New housing planned for formerly homeless

STEVENS SQUARE — Portico plans to renovate a building it owns at 1936 3rd Ave. S. to provide affordable and market-rate housing, offering units to people who have experienced homelessness in the past.

The project is designed to cover a shortage of affordable housing options in the city, and it is a partnership between Portico and the Downtown churches Westminster Presbyterian and Plymouth Congregational.

Kris Berggren, Portico’s communications and marketing specialist, said Portico operates the Lydia Apartments a few blocks away, which offers supportive services for people coming right out of homelessness. As people work through their issues and find employment, she said, they have difficulty finding a place to move on.

“Part of the difficulty is there are so few affordable places where they can move out to,” Berggren said.

The renovation would provide basic upgrades to the aging building, such as improvements to bathrooms, kitchens and common areas.

The project will commence whenever it receives full funding. It has received about $37,000 in low-income housing tax credits from the city of Minneapolis, and it is looking for an additional $107,000 in tax credits.