Chancellor Manor Before and After Photos
There was a bright spot in a week filled with news about family homelessness in the Twin Cities. On Friday, Dakota County Community Development Agency, Community Housing Development Corporation and other stakeholders celebrated the award-winning makeover of once problem property Chancellor Manor in Burnsville. The property, which is the largest Project-Based Section 8 housing development in Dakota County, is home to nearly 500 residents including over 100 families with children and houses including a large immigrant population. Nearly 80% of the households have incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.
Constructed in 1972, the development was in need of makeover on several fronts. As do most 40-year-old properties, the buildings needed new roofs, siding, and windows. The property also suffered from design problems that created security and livability problems. And, the public image of the project suffered from a history of security problems and a high volume of police calls.
In 2000, City officials put together a plan for improvements that would increase the quality of life at Chancellor Manor. The plan called for physical improvements to site lighting, landscaping, signage and elimination of some exterior garages that posed a security threat. It also included recommendations for better management and enforcement of rules related to curfews and visitor behavior. Nearly a decade later, this plan was put into action.
The redevelopment of Chancellor Manor has been more than a physical makeover. A 2009 resident survey gathered input on the types of programs in which residents would like to participate. Because of this survey, the community building now hosts a variety of programs including ESL classes, Boy Scouts, early childhood parenting classes and after school tutoring. The property also has a new owner, Community Housing Development Corporation, with a record of accomplishment of owning successful, attractive, well-managed and well-maintained affordable housing.
The redevelopment of Chancellor Manor is a model of the affordable housing design. It is a redevelopment design that considered both physical improvements and the social environment. In a post-rehab survey, one resident said, “All of the new things have just made the quality of life better. Living feels happier.” That is what happens when you design housing with people in mind.