Three months after abandoning his bid for governor, former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has a new job: leading Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
Coleman will replace former Metropolitan Council Chairwoman Susan Haigh, who is retiring after working as president and chief executive of Twin Cities Habitat for more than 13 years.
“Housing has always been at the center of things that I’m passionate about,” Coleman said in an interview Thursday. “So much of the work that I’ve done over the last many years, both in my professional life and my volunteer activity, has been around this nexus of getting people into stable housing situations, and affordable housing situations.”
Starting in 2006, Coleman served three terms as mayor. Last year, he chose to run for governor instead of seeking a fourth term, and left office in January. He dropped out of the governor’s race in February after a poor showing in a DFL straw poll.
As mayor, the St. Paul native oversaw economic development projects including the Green Line light rail, CHS Field, the Palace Theatre, the Penfield apartments and the in-progress Allianz Field. He also successfully pushed for a city requirement that 20 percent of new housing units constructed using public resources be affordable to low-income residents.
Coleman said he’s worked with Habitat in the past, including as a volunteer on construction sites. In his new role, Coleman will oversee the completion of Habitat’s four-year strategic plan. His first day will be June 2.
Habitat would not specify Coleman’s salary, but Haigh, his predecessor, earned $273,508 in 2017, according to Habitat’s tax filing.
Since 1985, more than 1,200 families have bought homes from Twin Cities Habitat. The average home buyer family has five or six members and earns $43,000 a year.