The HousingLink Story

HousingLink was established as a result of the 1995 Hollman v Cisneros Consent Decree, which sought improved housing conditions and greater locational choice for families participating in the Section 8 voucher and public housing programs. One provision of the decree stipulated that an affordable housing information clearinghouse be established to ensure that low-to-moderate income families have access to the affordable housing information they need. HousingLink was organized in 1997 as a 501(c)3 organization to meet this need, and we began providing vacancy information as well as training and support to housing service agencies. Since that time, HousingLink has become Minnesota's primary source for affordable housing-related openings, data, information and resources.

The mission of HousingLink is "Connecting people to affordable rental homes, increasing choice and access for all." To accomplish this we operate our award winning website where anyone can search for affordable rental housing vacancies and waiting list openings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Twin Cities suburbs, and throughout all of Minnesota. Landlords and property managers use our website to advertise their rental housing openings for free. Staff at human service agencies in Minnesota use HousingLink's resources to help their clients overcome barriers to their housing search, and to answer questions about subsidized housing programs in Minnesota. We also publish the status of subsidized housing waiting lists in the Twin Cities through the Housing Authority Waiting List. Finally, HousingLink conducts research that is used by policymakers and research organizations to shape affordable housing policy in the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota.

HousingLink's Values

  • EQUITY. We understand that many people have unique challenges with housing access and stability. We believe all renters deserve equitable access to an affordable home.
  • RACIAL AND ETHNIC EQUITY. Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color are much more likely to experience housing discrimination. We prioritize their voices and perspectives to guide our work. 
  • PEOPLE. Our work is centered on the people we serve. This includes honoring our staff as whole people.
  • RELIABILITY AND TRUST. We are a trusted source of information for renters, landlords, policymakers, and the communities we serve.
  • INNOVATION. We continually find new and better ways to provide affordable rental housing information.
  • CONTINUOUS LEARNING. We learn from the communities we serve.
    We incorporate those lessons into our resources and programs. 

What do you mean by affordable housing?
1. Housing that fits your income and budget (not costing more than 30-40% of your gross income).
2. Subsidized housing where you pay a percentage of your income for rent. Video - Subsidized housing in MN

Does HousingLink only serve low-to-moderate income renters?
HousingLink's website primarily targets low-to-moderate income renters. However, it is used by all renters who want reasonably priced rental apartments, houses, townhomes, duplexes, and condos. Many people also use the HousingLink website to get rental housing information and education.    

Can I call HousingLink for help?
We recommend that you first try to use our website to see if it has the information you need. If it doesn't, you are welcome to call our main number at 612.522.2500. If you call, please be at your computer.

What should I do if I need one-on-one help?
There are a number of service agencies in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and throughout the Twin Cities metro area that can provide assistance. To identify an appropriate service agency, call United Way at 651-291-0211.

Are you curious to see how our website has evolved? 
Click here to see what our original website looked like.
Click here to view our second website design.
Click here to view our third website design.