Opportunity City Program

A technical assistance program for suburban cities that provides a housing audit, community change data, and dialogue with policy leaders focused on removing barriers and maximizing opportunities.

Opportunity City Program

The ULI MN/RCM Housing Initiative’s Opportunity City Program is a comprehensive, centralized, sustainable, learning community that provides support and resources to local municipal officials who seek to provide a full range of housing choices in their community. The program enables peer-to-peer learning, technical assistance and best practices dissemination, and is made possible by the generous financial support of the Family Housing Fund. Download the full 2009 report summarizing the program here.

Eight communities have participated in the Opportunity City Program: Anoka, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Rosemount, Shoreview, Brooklyn Park, Minnetonka and Richfield. Participating cities received expert technical help for performing housing audits, collecting demographic community change data, creating sustainable strategies for developing specific sites, and involving residents in the planning process. The Opportunity Cities are now moving from awareness into action as a result of the Opportunity City Program. Read the 2012 Opportunity City Program Outcomes and Progress Report.

The Opportunity City Program highlights that housing is a vital community asset, and cities need to be more intentional in how they plan and provide incentives for different types of housing, based on demographic data about their existing residents and which demographic groups they want to attract and retain. It also builds awareness in suburban communities about the value of housing choice and more compact development that is connected to jobs, transportation networks, and other amenities – development that will help them remain competitive into the future, as both demographics and the housing and job markets change.

Opportunity City Summary Reports

City of Anoka
City of Brooklyn Park                 City of Coon Rapids
City of Eagan                              City of Inver Grove Heights          City of Minnetonka
City of Richfield
City of Rosemount
City of Shoreview

City of Anoka Appendices
City of Brooklyn Park Appendices
City of Coon Rapids Appendices                                                   City of Eagan Appendices
City of Inver Grove Heights Appendices                                    City of Minnetonka Appendices
City of Richfield Appendices
City of Rosemount Appendices

City of Shoreview Appendices

Demographic Community Change Reports

With financial support from the Metropolitan Council and MN Housing, ULI MN/RCM contracted with Excensus, LLC for the completion of Community Change Reports that profile household demographic changes between 2004-2009. The reports help to strengthen awareness of future development and reinvestment opportunities, as well as to align new tools and policies to meet demographic changes for the development and preservation of senior, rental and ownership housing.

This unique information is based on household changes by specific property parcels tracked over a five-year period for the seven-county metro area. It tracks households, housing usage and turnover for more than 1 million profiled addresses. The resulting data is more definitive, current and accurate than other data sources that have traditionally been summarized. Rather than providing estimates, the data includes specific counts with 95 percent coverage and accuracy. The parcel information, through GIS, can be rolled up (or drilled down) to almost any geographic area within a 4-household level. The reports also show household change and usage flows – where households are moving to and from – rather than a snapshot in time.  Learn why Excensus Data is different?

Regional Impact

Region-wide findings related to an overall increase in aging in place due to low household turnover that limits housing options for young families and professionals.  Read summary of “Post-Recession Buyer” (2011).

Regional County Housing Authorities:Partnered with seven counties to complete individual county demographic change reports and city benchmarks. Convened discussions with policy leaders and county staff around the impacts of housing choices related to household relocation patterns and housing accessibility.

Opportunity City Reports: Completed city-level demographic change reports within seven cities as part of the Opportunity City Program. Evaluated data with policy leaders and staff resulting in a better understanding of the need to adjust policies and programs in support of a full range of housing choices.

Opportunity City Change Report Summaries

City of Anoka
City of Brooklyn Park

City of Eagan

City of Minnetonka

City of Richfield

City of Rosemount

City of Shoreview