Wadaag Commons

Date

2024

Category

Featured, Affordable Housing,

Waadag Commons is the fourth and final piece of the larger Seward Commons project – a redevelopment of an industrial area adjacent to the Franklin Avenue lightrail station. A partnership between Redesign and Noor Companies – an East African woman-owned company – Wadaag Commons is designed to meet the needs of large families.

Wadaag aims to serve people who are underserved by the current housing stock in Minneapolis. This 39 unit, 6-story elevator-served apartment building will be 100% affordable to low-income families and will include:

  • Four one-bedroom units will serve High Priority Homeless households eligible for Housing Support.
  • Five units (three one- and two two-bedroom units) will serve People with Disabilities who are also eligible for Housing Support. Supportive services for the Housing Support units will be provided by Simpson Housing Services.
  • 24 units have a commitment of Project Based Section 8 Vouchers (PBV) from Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. Rents for those units will be based on HUD payment standards. The remaining six units will serve households at 60% of Area Median Income.
Wadaag means "sharing" or "community" in Somali

Informed by the Community

To inform the design of Wadaag Commons, the development team convened a Qualified Stakeholder Group made up of likely Wadaag residents: people of East African descent and households with multiple children and children with disabilities. The goal for this engagement process was to identify and attempt to address the most important unmet needs of large families and to ensure cultural relevancy in the project’s design.

This group of stakeholders expressed the following needs that will be met by Wadaag Commons:

  1. Units with more than 2 bedrooms
  2. Private exterior entrances to foster a sense of ownership and connection to the community
  3. A playground where children can freely play
  4. Multi-story units that reduce noise
  5. Sufficient bathrooms to serve the whole family
  6. Central air conditioning
  7. In-unit laundry
  8. Prioritized access to underground parking for families
  9. Oversized refrigerators in the larger units to ensure that families have enough space to store food.

Part of the Community

The area immediately surrounding the Wadaag Commons site is a major thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists accessing the Light Rail Transit station and trail. As part of the design phase of this project, the stakeholder group shared their vision for how to make Wadaag feel like part of the broader community. This includes:

  1. Stoops, landscaping, and art along the sidewalk to contribute to the pedestrian environment
  2. Access to secure bike parking
  3. Publicly visible mural facing Cedar Avenue, informed by East African Art.
  4. Interior and outdoor play areas

What’s the latest?

Stay informed about what’s happening with the Wadaag Commons project by subscribing to our newsletter or following Redesign on social media.

 

Media Coverage

New Housing Development Uncovers Artifacts | MN Department of Administration

Family-oriented and affordable complex planned in Seward neighborhood | Finance & Commerce | August 18, 2022

Rep. Omar Advances $46.9 Million in Funding for Minnesota’s 5th District | Medium | July 14, 2021