Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new coalition created to address the community's affordable housing needs has been given a multi-million dollar boost by the Mayo Clinic.

The Rochester Area Foundation today announced the creation of the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing along with three founding partners: the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the Mayo Clinic.

The coalition’s mission is to lead a collaborative community program to acquire, manage and distributing funding and resources to preserve existing and build additional affordable and work-force priced housing.

“Together as a coalition, public and private sector leaders in the Rochester area have the capacity and resources to develop a broad and sustainable housing market that works for more people, today and into the future,” says Jennifer Woodford, President of Rochester Area Foundation. “We are now seeking additional coalition partners to bolster our efforts and have greater impact on Rochester Area communities.”

The Rochester Area Foundation is launching a fundraising campaign with a goal of $6 million to fund the housing initiative. The Mayo Clinic has announced it will donate $4 million toward that goal over the next two years.

The announcement came on the same day Governor Mark Dayton announced the creation of a new Task Force on Affordable Housing. The group is being tasked with developing solutions to what Dayton termed Minnesota’s housing challenge and bringing a report to the governor next July. Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden and Mike Paradise from Bigelow Homes in Rochester are among the 15 “core” members of the new Task Force.

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