UPDATE: Touchstone Mental Health Project
Updated: Jan 12
***NOTE: As of Jan 11, the City's Planning Commission denied the permit to Touchstone Mental Health. You can watch a video of their comments here (starting around 33:30). PPNA will reach out to our partners in non-profit housing to see if we can encourage a purchase that won't result in displacement.***
On December 17th, PPNA shared information about a proposed development project in the neighborhood. You can see that blog post here: https://www.ppna.org/post/development-project-touchstone-mental-health
Today, Jan 11, the City Planning Commission will meet to review this application. To learn more about how to attend or give comment at that meeting, click here.
As a result of community voices we heard via email and at our public meeting on January 5th, PPNA has decided to provide written public comment regarding this development. The following are excerpts from the letter we submitted on 1/11/21. You can read the whole letter here.
"Although Touchstone Mental Health (TMH) will covert the property to a residential treatment facility that can support up-to 16 persons, this project will inevitably remove 11 affordable dwelling units from the Powderhorn Park community’s housing stock."
"PPNA sees the value that TMH will provide to its clients, and our community, by providing residential treatment services for those with mental health needs. However, this form of housing does not usurp the ongoing and growing need to maintain Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) throughout the neighborhood and the City overall."
"In light of the additional findings above, PPNA believes the CUP sought by TMH only somewhat aligns with current neighborhood needs and priorities. Our community requires both housing solutions to spur real change."
Additionally, PPNA continues to advocate that the City of Minneapolis re-examine their existing procedures for how community input and equity goals influence development.
"Considering the City Planning Commission (CPC) mission states that it exists 'To grow a vibrant, livable, safely built city for everyone,' PPNA believes it’s imperative that the commission takes steps to direct staff within Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) to construct and recommend a scoring approach for land use applications that moves beyond offering a transactional lens to each application."
PPNA has also submitted a letter to Touchstone Mental Health requesting that, if their project is approved at the 1/11 Planning Commission meeting, they take the following steps to support existing residents:
1) Notice of Intent: give tenants notice as soon as possible after the closing and transfer of ownership of the plans regarding their lease
2) Vacate Date: provide tenants at least 180 from the notice of intent to move out
3) Rent Waivers: Cease collection of rent after the 90th day of the 180-day window to vacate
4) Relocation Assistance: provide rental assistance equal to 4 months of their current monthly rent
PPNA will continue to provide updates related to this project as staff are able and as new information becomes available.