Chester Estates

A pilot NOAH project

BB Housing’s first venture into preserving and stabilizing existing affordable housing.

A New Challenge

Impressed with their high-quality, innovative work, the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) approached BB Housing in early 2015 with new challenge: how to preserve and stabilize existing Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH).

Upon realizing the benefits of an affordable housing model that did not rely on costly new construction or subsidies, Loren and Michael laid plans for a funding structure to meet these primary goals:

  • Acquire and rehabilitate a class C property in need of improvement and preservation.
  • Maintain affordable rents without subsidy.
  • Provide a competitive ROI for investors.
  • Repay the loan from GMHF within seven years.

Pilot Project

For its pilot NOAH project, BB Housing targeted a dilapidated 40-unit multifamily rental property in Rochester, MN, now named Chester Estates.

Although it was in serious disrepair, the property’s large units and close proximity to employment, schools, and transportation, had made it an ideal home for numerous working families for many years.

Sourcing bank financing to complement the social investment loan from GMHF, BB Housing completed pre-development within only 4 months, securing the property and putting the project in motion. During rehabilitation, they coordinated with residents to minimize the impact of construction on their day-to-day lives, while making long-overdue improvements to their homes.

Chester Estates was fully restored and stabilized within 12 months.


Chester Estates has become a point of pride for the neighborhood. The improvements to the property not only raised the quality of life for residents, but also powerfully impacted the curb appeal of the entire community.  BB Housing is now working to replicate this NOAH model in communities throughout the nation.

"Neighbors are pleased to see positive changes because of BB Housing Associates. BB Housing has exceeded our expectations in all areas.”

- Linda Arnesen, Chair, Railroad Island Task Force, St. Paul, MN