August 2, 2022 | Main Spotlight: Catalyzing Upper Floor Housing with the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program | By: Emily Kurash Casey, Director of Community Programs at Rethos |
Interior upper floor in Red Wing, MN. Photo by Megan Tsui.
The quantity and quality of housing in Main Street districts has become an increasingly important focus point for many programs. Research conducted by Main Street America and funded by the 1772 Foundation
has found that 75% of Main Street managers feel that there is not enough housing to accommodate everyone who wants to live in their district. Established development models often are not well-suited to meet the specific needs of these communities. Main Street America’s housing research found that “the financial risk associated with small-scale development, adaptive reuse, and upper-floor activation projects can scare off otherwise interested property owners, developers, and lending institutions.”
What is Looking Up?
Alleviating Housing Shortages
About the Author
Emily Kurash Casey is the Director of Community Programs at Rethos, and statewide coordinator for Minnesota Main Street. She works to grow Rethos’ educational offerings, community engagement work, and Main Street program throughout the state. Previously, Emily ran the Main Street program in Winona, MN, and worked in economic development efforts in Decorah, Iowa. She has also worked as a theater/arts administrator and teaching artist and spent significant time working with rural non-profits as a board member and facilitator, leading programs focused on revitalizing downtowns, activating young professionals, and fostering cross-collaboration between municipalities, businesses, volunteers, and artists.Rethos: Places Reimagined is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation, education, and economic development based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 1981, Rethos delivers programs in five states and manages the statewide Minnesota Main Streets program. For more information visit www.rethos.org.