The National Handicap Housing Institute, Inc.
(NHHI) is a nonprofit established in 1975 for the express purpose of improving the independent lifestyles of persons with physical disabilities, specifically mobility impairments.
In 2007 NHHI opened its first Senior Housing Development, with the express purpose of providing Seniors 62 or older with quality affordable housing.
NHHI provides, affordable housing for very low-income adults with physical disabilities.
As the nation’s premier organization in the field, NHHI has developed over 2,000 units of specialized housing in the past forty-one years.
NHHI has developed barrier-free housing in communities throughout the country and in Minnesota. NHHI is recognized as being one of the single most important consumer forces behind the advancement of the housing needs of individuals who are mobility impaired
NHHI offers a viable alternative to long term institutionalization. As a valuable community service, NHHI has also served as an information and referral source for the availability of very low-income accessible housing. This has maintained NHHI’s presence among service organizations, state and community agencies and, most importantly, consumer network systems. With few exceptions, no significant housing development promoting independent living for individuals with mobility impairments has occurred in Minnesota without at least some involvement by NHHI.
Combined with a commitment to the principles of independent living, NHHI’s pioneering success in the field has had, a major impact on the design, production and utilization of affordable, barrier-free housing.
NHHI has also surveyed the housing needs and preferences of individuals with disabilities, as well as location preferences to determine what housing features are needed to overcome problems resulting from specific disabilities.
It is the firm conviction of those involved in NHHI that affordable, accessible housing is the key to helping adults with mobility impairments realize their full potential and to take their rightful place as participating and contributing members of the communities in which they live. Further, NHHI sees individuals with disabilities as a genuine source of community enrichment. Their increased freedom and growth stands as a victory in which everyone shares and one that contributes to community strength and personal freedom.
Our comfortable and attractive independent living building for Senior’s 62 years and older is designed to fit the personal lifestyle and evolving needs of our active Seniors. NHHI’s independent living Senior Building combine elegantly designed living and affordability to enhance the lives of our Senior residents.
It is the firm conviction of those involved in this and similar developments that affordable housing is a significant factor in helping seniors realize their full potential and maintain their rightful place as participating and contributing members of the community. Further, we see seniors as a genuine source of community enrichment. Their increased freedom and growth stands as a victory in which we all share and which contributes to our community strength and our personal freedom.
Michael Bjerkesett – Founder of National Handicap Housing Institute
Michael Bjerkesett founded the National Handicap Housing Institute in 1975 for the express purpose of improving the independent lifestyles of persons with physical disabilities, specifically mobility impairments. During a long career as a champion for the disability community, Michael Bjerkesett has worked to improve the lives of others .He wanted to develop accessible affordable housing for low-income adults with physical disabilities. The non-profit organization has developed more than 2,000 accessible apartments.
He graduated from Southwest State University in Marshall Minnesota in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration and Psychology. In his first full-time job, Michael counseled clients in the rehabilitation program at North Memorial Medical Center. In 1973 he left North Memorial to form the United Handicap Federation, a social action organization which linked together 19 disability groups in Minnesota. He served as It’s first executive director.
Michael has received several awards for his work including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Southwest Minnesota State University, the Courage Award from Courage Center, and the WCCO Good Neighbor award, among others.
Michael Bjerkesett - Accessible housing needs are his life's calling and his lasting legacy Countless people with disabilities have Michael J. Bjerkesett to thank for providing affordable, accessible housing options. He founded NHHI in 1975
Michael J. Bjerkesett Award
For Excellence in Community Service
In honor of Michael’s commitment to serving the community, The Michael J. Bjerkesett Award is given to a resident for their involvement and giving back to the community through volunteering, supporting, improving, giving, or other means.