Case Study: City of Duluth, Mayor’s Housing Task Force

Challenge: The City of Duluth faced an affordable housing shortfall and sought to identify sustainable, co-invested funding mechanisms for affordable housing developments in Duluth.

Northspan’s Role: Co-facilitated seven task force meetings and drafted a report on the results.

Results: Consensus around a series of recommendations that the city will further explore and seek to implement.

In this project, Northspan’s Elissa Hansen worked with Tony Sertich of the Northland Foundation to facilitate seven meetings of a 12-member housing task force. Members came from a variety of backgrounds and sectors affected by the housing market, but largely had little direct experience in the market. Northspan worked with City of Duluth staff and a group of community experts to educate the task force on the extent of the housing shortage, generate ideas of possible solutions, and explore the pros and cons of these ideas. We then worked with the task force to generate consensus around the recommendations its members believed the city should pursue. Karl Schuettler drafted the report and served as one of the community experts. You can download and review the report by clicking the image or following this link: Mayors Housing Task Force March 2020 Report

Reference: Mayor Emily Larson,, 218.730.5320

Contact Elissa Hansen at for more information.