July 22, 2014

Minnesota Housing
Mary Hieb
400 Sibley Street, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55101-1998

Re: Churches United for the Homeless - Permanent Supportive Housing

Dear Ms. Hieb:

Thank you for the opportunity to share comments on the Churches United’s development proposal for 41 units of
permanent supportive housing in Moorhead. Moorhead’s rental vacancy rate makes it very difficult for low income
individuals to find rental housing, even with housing subsidy vouchers. The 2013 Wilder Study quantifies the need:
 28% of homeless persons interviewed reported having a job, with 10% working full time
 36% of homeless persons interviewed said they could pay less than $300/month for housing
 Children represent 17% of the homeless population in Fargo and Moorhead

The Clay County Commission demonstrated support of permanent supportive housing at a June 3, 2014 Commission
meeting, although their support was not site-specific. Despite the recognition of housing need, I must also indicate
there is significant neighborhood concern and Council Member objection to the location that Churches United selected
for this housing development. Neighbors have expressed concerns that the tenants of this property have not been
successful in maintaining prior housing and that tenant screening, property management, and support services offered
will not be sufficient. Another primary concern is that the building will attract unwanted visitors to this property
affecting the safety of the surrounding neighborhood. Following this meeting, other citizens have stepped forward in
support of the project at the proposed location.

Neighborhood residents expressed their concerns at the June 9, 2014 City Council meeting and presented the Clay
County Commission with a petition requesting their support to the project be rescinded. Churches United leadership
and volunteers held a meeting to discuss the development with the neighborhood on July 1, 2014 and answered
questions about how tenants will be screened and how the property will be managed. Churches United agreed to work
closely with the City of Moorhead Police Department to ensure the security of the tenants and the larger neighborhood.

The City of Moorhead desires to work collaboratively with Churches United on coordination and public outreach for the
project. Churches United will keep the City Council informed on the proposed project.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer comments on this proposed development. Please contact me with any questions
you have.

Sincerely,



Del Rae Williams
Mayor

Cc: City Council

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