Shana Tomenes

  • Hosted by Housing Justice Center
  • Sponsored by Target Corporation
  • Service location Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Law school University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Issue area Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Shana will advocate for Minnesotans state-wide who struggle to secure and preserve affordable housing in their communities.

As rent and increasing property taxes push low-income working families out of the Twin Cities area, affordable housing has become more and more difficult to obtain. In 2017, 43% of all renter households in Minnesota spent more than 30% of their income on housing and 22% of all renters spent more than half. Additionally, Minnesotans are losing approximately 1,300 unsubsidized affordable housing units every year, which is only causing this affordable housing gap to widen. When also considering that households of color face extra obstacles in the form of discrimination and mistreatment stemming from a history of intentional exclusion, the problem of lack of affordable, fair housing in Minnesota becomes all the more prominent. This project will work at the state and local level to address the needs of families seeking to secure and keep affordable housing.  

As a first-generation college graduate from Minnesota, Shana is excited to collaborate with others to protect and expand affordable housing in her community.  

Fellowship Plans

Shana and Housing Justice Center will use policy advocacy, litigation, and coalitionbuilding to preserve existing affordable housing and fight for expansion. Through advocating for inclusionary zoning at local government, defending renters’ rights in housing court, and pursuing largerscale fair housing impact litigation, Shana will work to improve access to fair housing and aid those impacted by the housing crisis. 


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My experience working three jobs to put myself through college with an infant ignited my passion to help others achieve stability and prosperity through safe and affordable housing.

Shana Tomenes /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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