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Innovative development integrates affordable housing, childcare and other supports

Rise on 7 in St. Louis Park is a nation-leading, first-of-its kind residential development in Minnesota. Built by CommonBond Communities, it co-locates affordable housing with a childcare community and educational resources for families.

The 120-unit development opened in November 2023 and is fully occupied. The community is home to approximately 270 residents, including families, youth, people with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, refugees, and people who have experienced homelessness. It features a childcare center, Rise Early Learning Center, which opened in January 2024 and serves 62 children.

All Rise on 7 residents have access to CommonBond’s free, individualized wraparound Advantage Services that help residents connect to community-based resources, such as job readiness programs and financial coaching.

Hennepin County support

It takes a coalition of partners to make innovative projects like Rise on 7 possible. Hennepin County’s support for the project included:

  • a 30% Area Median Income (AMI) Rental Unit Subsidy for 19 units.
  • $950,000 from the Affordable housing incentive fund.
  • $700,000 in pandemic recovery dollars to offset the unexpected construction cost increases developers have faced in recent years.
  • and ongoing Housing Support funding to help people transitioning out of homelessness get the support they need to succeed at Rise on 7.

The county also administered $950,000 in pass-through funding from the Metropolitan Council Local Housing Incentive Account (LHIA), which helped secure the final funding for the project.

“We’re very proud to have supported this project in a number of ways,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene, District 3, at a recent celebration for the development. “The project received our first-ever 30% AMI rental unit subsidy, which is a pilot program to support housing for lowest-income community members. 30% AMI is something the county is very much focused on, because that is where there’s the greatest need for affordable housing, and those are the toughest projects to build.”

rise on seven exterior

An investment in children

Rise on 7 is St. Paul-based CommonBond Communities' first affordable housing community in St. Louis Park, a popular suburb with housing costs often out of reach for low-income families. The development is in a convenient area with access to many resources, including transit, local parks, restaurants, and grocery stores.

“We believe everyone should have a home, and everyone should have a community. That’s what this building brings to the neighborhood,” said Deidre Schmidt, president and CEO of CommonBond.

Matching affordable housing with affordable high-quality childcare right on site is a major benefit for Rise on 7 families. Rise Early Learning Center – a bright, airy space on the first floor of the development – was founded by Westwood Lutheran Church as part of the CommonBond development. Minneapolis-based Way To Grow also provides educational programs there for families.

rise on seven learning center

“Well-funded early childhood care and education, when done well and intentionally, can be a solution for a lot of the challenges facing residents,” said Kylie Cooper, executive director of Rise Early Learning Center. “An investment in children is an investment in our community. Study after study shows that it is money well spent. Children who enjoy quality care go on to have increased earning potential, greater stability, and a better chance of avoiding food insecurity.”

Visit CommonBond Communities to learn more about Rise on 7.