• Prospect Park Minneapolis Slideshow

    Prospect Park – Minneapolis, Minnesota


(PDF of final, approved plan, October 7, 2005)
(PDF version of final final draft, June 9, 2005)
(PDF version of draft 2, May 24, 2005)
(PDF version of draft 1, April 28, 2005)

NRP 2 Action Plan - Dick Poppele

on behalf of the PPERR NRP-2 Steering Committee

The NRP-2 Steering Committee has completed drafting the Action Plan. In the interest of keeping the process open and having the maximum input, it posted here for neighborhood review. See also NRP-2 Steering Committee page for copies of minutes of all Steering Committee meetings.

Comments are welcome and may be forwarded to the Steering Committee for consideration either by E-mail (pperr@pperr.org), or by US mail to:

66 SE Malcolm Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 20 (7:30 at Luxton).

Final consideration and adoption of the Action Plan will occur at a neighborhood meeting on June 29th at 7:00 PM at Luxton Park. Notice of the meeting will be mailed to every resident of the neighborhood.

The purpose of the Action Plan is to define neighborhood objectives and outline strategies to meet those objectives. The strategies include an allocation of NRP funds. In some cases the strategy is quite specific, with directions about exactly how the funds will be used. In other cases the strategies are stated more generally and the specific allocation is expected to be made through the NRP fiscal agent, PPERRIA.

Action Plan Final Draft dated June 9, 2005.


Program: Amount
Education: Pratt School Transitional Funding 58,000
Education: SEMCOL (Southeast Minneapolis Council on Learning) 5,000
Human Services: SE Seniors 14,000
Livability: All programs 14,000
Housing: Home Improvement Loan Program 152,225
Housing: SWIM Home Purchase Education Program 35,000
Housing: Historical District Project Completion 28,000
Administration by PPERRIA 27,229
$347, 866

The neighborhood’s fiscal agent for NRP Phase 2, PPERRIA, will allocate and release the funds in accordance with the objectives and strategies detailed within each program area in section II.


Education: Pratt School Transitional Funding
NRP I resources were invested heavily in the renovation and support of the Pratt Community Education Center and its services. The start-up of an elementary education program at Pratt began in 2000. It is still in its developmental phase. The program has been slow in building due to frequent threats of the Minneapolis Schools to close the program. Enrollment has been building in the last three years, but the program needs continuing support. The presence of the school has brought new families with young children into the neighborhood and the school provides opportunity for the consolidation of the residents from the Glendale neighborhood with the larger Prospect Park neighborhood.

Objective: To ensure that Pratt School continues to provide primary school education to the neighborhood.

Strategy: To provide support to the Minneapolis School staff until the school attendance reaches its full potential.

City Goal addressed by this strategy: Preserve and enhance our environmental, economic and social realms to promote a sustainable Minneapolis.

Resources: $58,000. To be made available through early access, since the funds will be required beginning with the fall school term.

Education: SEMCOL (Southeast Minneapolis Council on Learning)
Outreach: Pratt School has been a successful model for integrating across cultural boundaries because of the inclusion of the Glendale residents. It is important to support this program strength by assuring that students from Glendale have the family and community support necessary to assure their success.

Objective: To ensure that early learning and student support opportunities are readily available to neighborhood residents.

Strategy: To support educational and vocational work with parents and children in Glendale.

City Goals addressed by this strategy: Promote public, community and private partnerships to address disparities and to support strong, healthy families and communities. Deliver consistently high quality City services at a good value to our

Resources: $5000. Contract with Southeast Minneapolis Council on Learning (SEMCOL, see Appendix D). This amount must be matched by funds from other sources in at least an equal amount.

Human Services: SE Seniors
The availability of human services and participation in those services are an important part of any viable neighborhood. Many current neighborhood services have resulted from initiatives taken over the years by the residents of PPERR. Some of the current needs involve outreach to senior citizens, to provide livability at home where they contribute to the overall vitality of the neighborhood.

Objective: To encourage and support programs that can enhance the quality of life for seniors who may find continuing residence in the neighborhood requires resources exceeding their fixed incomes.

Strategy: To support neighborhood programs that can provide home care, food savings, and/or transportation options for senior citizens.

City Goal addressed by this strategy: Promote public, community and private partnerships to address disparities and to support strong, healthy families and communities.

Resources: $14,000.

Prospect Park and East River Road has always been considered an appealing and attractive neighborhood with easy access to services and cultural resources.

Objective: To strengthen the characteristics that make the neighborhood attractive and livable.

1. To improve the overall physical appearance of the neighbor hood by supporting community gardening, neighborhood clean ups and exotic plant control, both along the river and within the neighborhood.
2. To support efforts to enhance the use of Luxton Park.
3. Increase community awareness of neighborhood activities and issues through the use of electronic and physical bulletin boards.
4. To promote the management of traffic on neighborhood streets.

City Goals addressed by this strategy: Preserve and enhance our environmental, economic and social realms to promote a sustainable Minneapolis. Maintain the physical infrastructure to ensure a healthy, vital and safe City.

Resources: $14,000.

Housing: Home Improvement Programs and Affordable Housing:
A recent survey of the housing stock in the PPERR neighborhood shows a limited availability of affordable housing, and limited opportunity to expand affordable access to any additional units (see Appendix B). Affordable rental properties are concentrated primarily in the Motley neighborhood, an area that has been the target for developers and University expansion, making investment difficult without considerably more resources than are available through NRP 2. Moreover, development of affordable housing in the other parts of the neighborhood within the constraints of the current NRP resources is not seen as feasible without outside resources given higher than average property values. However the proposed transit corridor that will traverse the neighborhood provides another opportunity to seek ways to advance affordable housing projects in the neighborhood in the future, particularly along University Avenue and at the city line with St Paul. Thus, the neighborhood should still remain active in finding ways to provide housing that is affordable. Based on this analysis, neighborhood objectives are aimed both at the short-term objective of improving the current affordable housing stock and at stabilizing residential housing overall and at the long-term objective of increasing the overall level of affordable housing in the neighborhood.

Objective 1.a: To facilitate improvement and rehabilitation of the housing stock in the PPERR neighborhood.

Objective 1.b: To encourage the upkeep of affordable housing in the PPERR neighborhood.

Objective 2: To find innovative ways to provide affordable housing in the PPERR neighborhood.


1.a. Provide financial assistance for home improvements to as many low and moderate-income home owners as possible with the limited available NRP funds augmented with other available housing funds. This will be a revolving loan program with the following features:
Low-interest loans for up to 10-year terms;

  • $4,000 maximum per loan with a dollar-fifty match required for each loan dollar;
  • Owner-occupied single-family or duplex homes, owners must have annual gross income of 80% of the City of Minneapolis Median Income or less;
  • Only exterior and structural/mechanical work supported by loans;
  • Priority will be given to sub-standard properties.

1.b. Provide financial assistance for low income home owners to maintain and repair their homes. This will be a grant or deferred loan program having the following features:
Low interest loan with payback deferred up to 7 years;

  • $4,000 maximum per loan with 50 cent match required for each loan dollar;
  • Owner-occupied single-family or duplex homes, owners must have annual gross income of 60% of the City of Minneapolis Median Income or less;
  • Only maintenance, repair and code compliance work supported by loan;
  • Loans forgiven to owners who continue to occupy the property for 7 years, otherwise full loan amount is due when owner moves;
  • Priority given to sub-standard properties.

2. Support efforts to create affordable housing in the neighborhood through actions of PPERRIA and interactions with non-profit housing development organizations. These efforts should include:

  • Maintaining a list of any sites that might support construction of new housing;
  • Making use of a variety of public and non-profit groups that are established to aid in the development and redevelopment of affordable and livable housing;
  • Acting as a catalyst to generate new affordable housing by working with developers to make them aware of sites that might be potentially developed.

City Goals addressed by these strategies: Foster the development and preservation of a mix of quality housing types that is available, affordable, meets current needs, and promotes future growth. Promote public, community and private partnerships to address disparities and to support strong, healthy families and communities. Preserve and enhance our environmental, economic and social realms to promote a sustainable Minneapolis.

Resources: $152,225. Revolving funds returned to the neighborhood to be designated for continued investment in the stated housing objectives.

Housing: Historical District Project Completion:
Development pressures from transit expansion on University Avenue and speculation have focused the need to preserve the existing residential character of the neighborhood. An essential component and one that has attracted new residents to this inner-city neighborhood is the maintenance of a viable neighborhood school and community education center.

Objective: To assure that future development is compatible with neighborhood vitality by employing mechanisms like historical district designation.

Strategy: To complete phase 2 of the process that will lead to historical district designation.

City Goals addressed by this strategy: Foster the development and preservation of a mix of quality housing types that is available, affordable, meets current needs, and promotes future growth. Maintain the physical infrastructure to ensure a healthy, vital and safe City.

Resources: $28,000.

Housing: SWIM Home Purchase Education Program:
Outreach: PPERR has long valued the inclusion within its boundaries of the Glendale Housing project, which provides an ethnic and cultural mix to neighborhood and school. In recent years this housing facility has drawn several refugee communities to Minneapolis as it provides them with transition housing. The community has been engaged in programs designed to acculturate these immigrants to our society.

Objective: To support continuing efforts to help Glendale residents transition to non-public housing.

Strategy: To support a program specifically designed for Somali refugees, in their quest to become knowledgeable renters and first-time home buyers (see Appendix D).

City Goal addressed by this strategy: Promote public, community and private partnerships to address disparities and to support strong, healthy families and communities.

Resources: $35,000.

Administration: Plan Development:
The neighborhood selected a Steering Committee charged to develop an Action Plan for the allocation of NRP 2 funds. The committee worked with paid staff and University interns as well as a number of city, neighborhood and non-profit sources to reach the objective and strategies outlined in this plan. Details of the process are in Appendix A, and a summary of the analysis of neighborhood housing is in Appendix B.

Resources: $ 14,412.

Administration: PPERRIA
Staff will provide planning, oversight, evaluation and monitoring services to all programs, finances, staff, NRP contracts, new program development and outreach activities. As noted elsewhere in this plan, staff will work on implementation of all strategies in this plan, including those that are not funded through NRP. It is estimated that the staff time will be spent in the following areas: 20% on administrative matters, 70% on housing issues, and 10% on non-housing issues.

Strategy: To allow for PPERRIA to provide general administrative support for the support of NRP-2 activities in the neighborhood. This would include staff time as well as resources for printing, supplies, and other expendables (see Appendix C).

Contract Manager: NRP

City Goal addressed by this strategy: Promote public, community and private partnerships to address disparities and to support strong, healthy families and communities.

Resources: $27,229.


A. Summary of the NRP Phase 2 Planning Process in the PPERR Neighborhood
A meeting of the Prospect Park/East River Road Neighborhood (PPERR) was held on October 13, 2004 in order too finish up the NRP Phase 1 process and begin planning for Phase 2. This meeting was publicized in the SE Angle newspaper, the PPERR Improvement Association (PPERRIA) newsletter, the neighborhood e-list and by a direct mailing to every address in the neighborhood. The mailer contained meeting information such as date, time and agenda for the meeting, a four page summary of the 40 page Plan Review, the proposed Participation Agreement between NRP and PPERRIA, and information on how the NRP process works and what types of strategies are considered to be housing under NRP policy. A special effort was also made to get the word out to students. Mailers, with an additional flier to encourage students to participate, were distributed at the three major student housing complexes and a notice was placed on the University events calendar. Five University of Minnesota student interns volunteered their efforts to help organize the meeting. Finally, meeting announcement fliers were also prepared in the Somali language and distributed in Glendale to reach the largest minority group in the neighborhood. A substantial number of Somali immigrants attended the meeting and translation into Somali was provided throughout. Childcare was also provided.

The meeting began with a summary of the projects accomplished during Phase 1. Story boards with photographs of some of the key projects were on display. A motion was made to approve the written Plan Review. A motion to amend a 29 page commentary to the Review failed and the person was encouraged to send his comments directly to NRP. The Plan Review was approved. The Participation Agreement between PPERRIA and NRP, delineating the terms under which PPERRIA is the fiscal agent contracted to implement the Action Plan, was also approved. Then Bob Miller, Director of NRP, explained the requirements for the use of Phase 2 money.

A Steering Committee, charged with writing a draft Action Plan, was then elected. Attendees from each area of the neighborhood caucused to elect representatives to the Steering Committee, the number for each area determined by their area’s pro rata share of the total number of meeting attendees. There was one student member.

The first meeting of the Steering Committee was held on Wednesday, Oct 20. The first orders of business were to elect two co-chairs, Dick Poppele and Steve Cross, decide on how to run the meetings and how to fill the vacancies on the committee. Thereafter, a total of 16 meetings of the Steering Committee were held between October, 2004, and June 2005. In addition to committee members, outside experts were invited to several of the meetings to provide information on many topics. The committee had 26 members including 7 from Glendale, 6 of whom were Somali. Most members attended one or more meetings but the average attendance was 13. Translation into Somali was provided at all meetings and Somali attendance was nearly 100% throughout. Copies of the minutes of each meeting were made available on the PPERR web site (http//:pperr.org)

The student interns, one of whom lived in the neighborhood and served on the committee, acted as resources. They were charged with tasks such as researching housing possibilities and gathering statistics on topics such as neighborhood property values and incomes. Barb Lickness from NRP came to several of the meetings to answer questions on the NRP process and requirements, and Don Snyder from City Finance came to familiarize the committee with the resources and programs that are available through the city and NRP, primarily for housing strategies.

The committee solicited program proposal ideas from the neighborhood using advertisements in the SE Angle, the PPERRIA newsletter, and by placing proposal forms at several neighborhood locations. (The form was not required; it was intended to show what types of information would be needed by the committee.) Approximately 18 proposals were submitted and all were considered. The proposals were eventually grouped into general categories: Housing, Education and Human Services, Livability and Other.

Another neighborhood meeting was planned for April 20th. It was advertised in the SE Angle, the PPERRIA newsletter, the neighborhood e-list, the University events calendar and on posters throughout the neighborhood. The purpose of that meeting was to get more community input into what types of programs were of highest priority. Also, since NRP requires that at least 70% of the Phase 2 money be spent on housing, the committee sought input on whether the neighborhood wanted to spend all of the money on housing, 70% on housing, or somewhere in between. At the meeting, the various program proposals were explained and attendees voted by affixing dot stickers to posters throughout the room. It was also stated that more proposals were welcome. Translation into Somali and childcare were again provided. The results of the “dot-mocracy” are attached. It was clear that the neighborhood wanted to spend 70% on housing and reserve 30% for other programs. There was strong support for a program to help Somali immigrants on the path toward home ownership and the completion of the Historic District designation (both of which fall under the housing category), and for Education and Human Services.

From these results, the statistical information about the neighborhood, and input compiled from the various discussions and fact finding tasks of committee members, a draft action plan was written. This plan was discussed at several committee meetings and revised accordingly, and draft copies were posted on the neighborhood web site. Since there was strong support for Education and since the chief proposal under that category was the time-sensitive transition funding for Pratt School, the committee decided it was necessary to complete the draft action plan and vote on it as soon as possible. Another neighborhood meeting was scheduled for June 29th and was advertised as before. Translation into Somali and childcare were again provided.

B. Analysis of Affordable Housing Opportunities in PPERR neighborhood.
An examination of the housing stock in PPERR and the census data regarding home occupancy and household income shows the neighborhood to be well above the medians for Minneapolis in both income level and home values. The neighborhood can be approximately divided into 3 areas. One, the Motley neighborhood, is strongly impacted by the adjacent University of Minnesota. This includes pressure on housing for student residences and development pressure from the University itself for expansion into the neighborhood. These factors have lead to a considerable amount of land speculation and absentee landlordship. While these have not necessarily been negative, they have not been compatible with the development or even maintenance of affordable housing in the neighborhood. A second sub-neighborhood is the Glendale housing project of the MPHA. This is a largely transient neighborhood that provides transition housing for needy Minneapolis residents. The largest community in this neighborhood in recent years has consisted of refugees from countries like Vietnam, Laos and Somalia. Finally, the bulk of the PPERR neighborhood consists of Prospect Park, a low density, mostly residential neighborhood with physically appealing amenities and a variety of housing units, and the East River Road and East River Terrace neighborhoods with mostly larger single unit housing along the Mississippi River Parkway.

The steering committee examined specifically the housing stock in the PPERR neighborhood (not counting Glendale) that consists of residential dwellings with 4 units or less. Although some larger multiple dwellings are present throughout, they are mostly in the Motley neighborhood or along University Avenue where they serve primarily as student residences. The committee identified approximately 700 such 4 unit or fewer dwellings in the PPERR neighborhood. The 2002-2003 “current market value” average is $259,000 and the median is $252,000. The majority of the units are owner-occupied (79%, homestead tax base) and their median value is $260,000. Rental dwellings in this class are considerably fewer and have a median value of $210,000

In order to identify the affordable housing base in the neighborhood we used a property value of $200,000 or less for a single or dual unit residential property as a guide. With this criterion there are 148 units (21%) that could be considered in the affordable range for a household income at or below the median. The majority of these units are owner-occupied (58%), and they are located primarily (79%) in the Prospect Park neighborhood. The rental units, in contrast, are largely concentrated in the Motley neighborhood (84%) where they serve primarily as student housing.

Based on these data and the minimal amount of developable property in PPERR, the committee concluded that the only real opportunity to either stabilize or expand affordable housing in the neighborhood lies in the Motley neighborhood or north of University Avenue near the St. Paul border. Given the large number of affordable rental units that are in the Motley area, it is tempting to consider a program of stabilization that could include code enforcement and attractive financing to encourage maintenance and repair of those properties. However, it is not clear that such an investment would endure given the pressure already experienced from developers and University expansion. To ensure a longer return on any NRP investment then, we concluded that the funds should be directed at more stable parts of the neighborhood.

To summarize, the analysis shows that while providing homes that are affordable to persons and families with limited income continues to be a problem in the city, state, and nation as well as in the PPERR neighborhood, there may be only limited opportunity to influence affordable housing availability in PPERR at present. Thus the committee concluded that the neighborhood can get the maximum overall benefit from the NRP resources by using them to maintain the quality of existing housing stock and also the amenities that attract residents to the PPERR neighborhood. During NRP-1 the neighborhood facilitated the East River Mews housing project, which was planned to include new affordable units. The project resulted in 10 affordable housing units, however only five of those were constructed on site, and other five were to be constructed at an off-site location outside the neighborhood (at a cost of $400,000). In addition, the neighborhood contributed $600,000 to the construction of new housing in the Bedford Street Town Homes housing project, which did not include an affordable housing component.

Finally, it should be noted that plans for a transit way through the neighborhood in the next decade or so are likely to provide new opportunities to pursue the goal of creating more affordable housing in the neighborhood. This is particularly true along University Avenue and near the city boundary with St Paul. Therefore, the neighborhood should play a proactive role in assuring that any new development meets the housing needs of a diversity of residents including a substantial affordable housing component.

C. Administrative Budget.

Planning: Includes neighborhood meetings and steering committee
costs. Includes projected expenses through final neighborhood meeting. $14,412

Personnel: (1 person @ $20/hr. @ 500hrs/year over 2 years
but probably actually paid out at slower rate over about 3 years.) $20,000

Advertising: Mostly in SE Angle about various loan programs. $1,350

Office Supplies: Paper, postage, etc. $2,539

Newsletter: Printing & mailing (based on actual cost for last two years.
Half of estimated total cost for printing and mailing x 2 years. $2,255

Miscellaneous: Handouts for meetings; childcare; translators; etc. $1,085

D. Southeast Minneapolis Council on Learning (SEMCOL) is a grassroots organization whose board is made up of 4 members appointed by each of the three main neighborhood organizations in Southeast Minneapolis. The PPERRIA members on the SEMCOL board are Susan Larson-Fleming, Susan Gottlieb, Jerry Stein, and David Galle. Donald Fraser, former Minneapolis Mayor and Congressman is one of the representatives from the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood and is the president of SEMCOL.

Two years ago PPERRIA gave SEMCOL $5,000 to help with start up of that organization. SEMCOL has raised an additional $35,000 from the other neighborhood organizations in Southeast and also from the General Mills Foundation and the Musser Foundation. Using those resources SEMCOL currently contracts with a family worker to work primarily in Glendale with families. SEMCOL also published Southeast Reads during the year, and will again. Thus the PPERRIA $5,000 helped leverage seven times that amount to support learning in Southeast, much of it going to Glendale. SEMCOL is working hard at raising outside funds, and though these things can't be guaranteed, it is likely that these PPERRIA NRP funds will also have a high leveraging effect.

SEMCOL would work with a Neighborhood Education Worker to help families in Southeast who need support in order for their children to be successful in school.

E. Somali Women in Minneapolis (SWIM) is a program of the East Side Neighborhood Services. One of the long-term goals SWIM participants have expressed is home ownership. In response, SWIM has created a new initiative called MOVE ON to help families realize their goals and to help them achieve self-sufficiency.

MOVE ON is designed to teach principles and methods for developing financial assets, stability and financial responsibility. MOVE ON will provide a 12-month education program focused on the financial ABCs that potential homeowners with the resources, knowledge, and information that is practical and essential to taking this step. Monthly programs will feature speakers and resources to help participants understand financial and practical usage issues supporting home rental and/or home ownership. Field trips will provide concrete information and insight that will improve skill levels.

Anticipated costs for the program beyond the staff support from ESNS:

Personnel: SWIM staff: (6 @ $4,136 + $901.67 fringe) = $30,226

Program costs: (supplies, audit, insurance, transportation, activity cost). = $ 4,774

Total cost $35,000