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History

Historic Fort Snelling Upper Post Gains New Life as Affordable Housing for Veterans

Fort Snellings Upper Post a historic army barracks which hosted soldiers in both world wars is now home to an affordable housing community with a military preferred program for veterans, service members and first responders.

The first veterans have come home to Upper Post Flats, a community of 192 modern apartment homes built on the site of Minnesota's first national historic landmark.

Dominium, the Twin Cities-based affordable housing developer charged with renovating and repurposing the site, plans to give housing preference at Upper Post Flats to America's service members, veterans, first responders and their families in recognition of their sacrifice and the site's history. Out of Minnesota's 300,000 veterans, nearly 50,000 experience issues with housing affordability, quality or crowding and over 660,000 low-income veterans spend more than half of their income on rent nationwide. High-quality affordable housing is the foundation of a stable life. Studies have shown that veterans who experienced housing instability in the past year reported 5 times the rate of mental distress as those with stable housing.

a group of people standing outside a row of buildings

Fort Snelling has stood watch over the convergence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers since before Minnesota was a state. The walled Lower Post was built in the 1820s, with the addition of the Upper Post beginning in 1878. The fort saw active use by the Army until it was decommissioned following the Second World War, eventually making its way into the management of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

By 2012, growing maintenance costs and incidents like the partial collapse of the historic quartermaster's post spurred a coalition of state and local agencies to seek a better long-term solution for the Upper Post, and in 2015 Dominium was chosen to develop the site as an affordable housing community while preserving it for future generations.

Read the article on Dominium or Associated Press.