Lyn Burton


Facilitating Leadership for the Affordable Housing Industry

Ep. 38 - Lyn Burton, Executive Director of Affordable Housing Connections, is changing the mindset of affordable housing and providing an educational opportunity by facilitating leadership for the affordable housing industry for young people interested in making a difference.

Top Takeaways:

    • Educating on new careers in a new groundbreaking course at Hamlin University
    • The future of unique online resources as a part of the educational materials used in schools and universities
    • The controversial plan in Minneapolis that is set to eliminate single homes zoning
    • The importance of having social amenities and productive commercial centers when developing multifamily residential homes
    • The power of investing in women and members of minority communities by giving them opportunities in leadership positions

Listen to Lyn on breaking down the barriers and silos of housing and community development strategies.

""I think if one is looking at real legacy, it would be to really commit to supporting women."

Lyn discusses the 2040 plan to use zoning as a tool to make multiple dwelling unit developments in Minneapolis and break down the prohibition of single-family-only zoning. She also discusses the Metropolitan Council inclusionary initiative to link to affordable housing strategies. She talks about the focus on local initiatives rather than relying only federal programs. Her company, Affordable Housing Connections, is working directly with Minneapolis suburbs of Edina and Bloomington, and discusses strategies at the city level.

She started her career at HUD with an expertise in community planning and development and eventually became Program Manager of the division. She went on into into mortgage finance and banking. When banks failed, she started a consulting company and then formed a new 501c3 organization to support Sec. 42 compliance monitoring for credit suballocators, compliance monitoring for local HOME Participating Jurisdictions, and to provide training and technical assistance. In addition, she is now working with Twin Cities public housing agencies and cities to implement new inclusionary housing initiatives. In her podcast Lyn provides a historical perspective of Minnesota HUD and discusses her new educational initiative with Hamline University Graduate School of Business to has set a goal to design and teach a Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate program targeted to prepare members of diverse populations for leadership in our industry (from Silo to Rooftop). Lyn is a co-founder of Minnesota Women in Housing.

Lyn Burton uses her past experience where she developed new markets for HUD-insured multifamily underwriting. She was a Principal with Development Connections, a Saint Paul-based consulting firm that specialized in real estate and mortgage finance services for lending institutions, property owners, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations. She also was a Senior Director for Meritor Savings Bank and a Senior Vice-President for Meritor Mortgage Corporation where she was responsible for day to day management of commercial real estate and mortgage lending operations in Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri. She supervised new state branch offices and supervised commercial portfolio construction lending and permanent financing. She Initiated and managed a multi-regional HUD multifamily coinsurance operation and was President of MN Mortgage Bankers Association. Her program expertise includes FHA multifamily insurance programs, Section 8, Section 42, HOME, CDBG, bond financing, and tax increment financing.


Listen in to hear about the leadership program that Lyn, together with Hamlin University, is bringing to young people who are capable of leading the affordable housing sector in the future. You will also hear about some of the affordable housing development projects happening in Minneapolis that she is part of. Listen to her personal story on TrailBlazers Impact podcast, Episode 16, and her story on Coping in Crisis podcast, episode 22.

Key Moments: 

She describes her initiative with Hamlin University as a way to find leaders in young women of color and give them an education surrounding the development of affordable housing [2:43]

She talks about the design and tools that will be used to teach back to back 8-week courses to students [7:49]

She explains how Minneapolis is using zoning as a tool to help make multiple dwelling units available in some parts that have only been single-family [11:53]

Why no tax credits being used to develop projects for communities and the alternative incentives that exist [19:34]

She talks about the social amenities that are being developed to go in alignment with the development of residential areas [21:08]

She mentions some of her major legacies including building capacities in women and members of minority communities [24:25]

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