Volunteers Tackle Affordable Housing Need

Northfield Affordable Housing Task Force


What happens when you sit down at a table and ask leaders from non-profits, the faith community and the corporate sector of Northfield to talk about affordable housing? They happily come together and share resources, ideas and expand to a conference room when the level of conversation rises as high as the enthusiasm of the participants.

Dayna Norvold, Executive Director of Rice County Habit for Humanity and Jayne Hager Dee, retired Director of Dakota County Extension asked staff from Laura Baker Services, Community Action Council, ISAIAH Project members (Social Justice groups from local churches), Northfield Union of Youth, Northfield Retirement Community, St. John’s Church, Northfield HRA, League of Women Voters, Three Rivers Community Action, SHED, Rebound Enterprises and other caring community members to join in a monthly discussion.  Their mission is to provide a clearing house for information, education, activities and projects related to affordable housing that the organizations are involved with so there is community awareness without duplication. 

The result has included discussions ranging from housing as a draw to workers who can find jobs but not a place to live in Northfield, the effects of homelessness on children in the school system, options for the physically and mentally disabled as part of upcoming projects. The consideration of locations, where nonprofit partners along with Northfield Construction and Rebound Enterprises joined at the table to talk. 

Affordable housing is an important national topic and an important one at the local level.  This ‘Rag Tag’ group has come together with “no money but lots of opinions,” says Dayna Norvold but through perseverance, meeting by ZOOM during a pandemic and the great commitment of volunteers from many different places coming to together, they are making our community even better. A 24 unit townhouse complex called Spring Creek south of the soccer fields is in discussion where HRA will sell 4.5 acres of land to Three Rivers Community Action for $1.00, Hillcrest Village on Hwy. 3 are two examples of outcomes when community shares knowledge, insights and resources to make our city a great and affordable place to live for all people.

Northfield people FOUND and appreciated are the folks in this group!