Alliance Housing considers new rooming house at 22nd & Emerson

2200 Emerson Ave. S. Credit: Michelle Bruch

Rooming houses are increasingly rare in Minneapolis — one was recently demolished in The Wedge — but Alliance Housing sees a new opportunity to open a rooming house at 2200 Emerson Ave. S.

The Bridge for Youth owns the vacant house and offered it for sale after consolidating beds inside its building across the street. The structure is licensed as a rooming house through November of this year, according to Alliance Housing Executive Director Barbara Jeanetta. If a property is not currently licensed or operated as a rooming house, she said, it’s against city code to open a new one.

Alliance Housing’s other properties include a 27-unit rooming house at 2011 Pillsbury Ave. S, and an eight-unit building at 2103 2nd Ave. S. Rents are typically $330-$350, and a room comes with a shared kitchen and bath. Buildings usually prohibit guests after 10 p.m., Jeanetta said. She said their buildings are almost always full, and vacancies are filled quickly.

“I probably get two or three calls a day from single adults [looking for a room],” she said.

Jeanetta said the Emerson house would likely serve 18-24 year olds, because she said there is a huge housing need for young adults who have experienced homelessness.

“If we did so, we would probably identify a social service provider to offer social services to young adults,” she said.

Jeanetta estimated there are 75 rooming houses remaining in Minneapolis, though some of them are in “shambles.”

“We like to prove they don’t have to be run that way,” she said. “We keep good tabs on what happens with our residents and our surrounding neighbors.”

Alliance Housing is still evaluating the financial feasibility of the purchase, and may make an offer this spring, Jeanetta said.