Aeon, one of the most prolific affordable-housing providers in the Twin Cities, is getting a big infusion of cash.

The group is receiving $550,000 in flexible grants from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, also known as NeighborWorks America. That money will be used to bolster Aeon’s focus on creating quality affordable rental housing

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minneapolis, said the grant will serve as an important step toward providing more stability for families.

“It is undeniable that we have a crisis in affordable housing in this country, and that is why I am so glad Aeon is receiving this grant,” he said.

Aeon joined the NeighborWorks network in 2010 and has received assistance in the past. The latest grant will be used to continue to preserve existing homes and build affordable new ones.

Alan Arthur, president and CEO of Aeon said support from NeighborWorks has helped Aeon add more than 2,000 affordable apartments to the Twin Cities region since 2010.

“We thank NeighborWorks for the funding to make our work possible so that our residents can find the stability of home,” he said.

NeighborWorks America has recently announced $65 million in grants that will be distributed to more than 240 nonprofit organizations around the country. Those recipients will use the grants to develop and manage affordable homes, help consumers set and reach their goals through financial coaching, offer homeownership education and counseling and revitalize and strengthen communities.

“NeighborWorks America is committed to ensuring our investments are working in ways that improve people’s lives,” said Jeffrey Bryson, NeighborWorks America interim president and chief executive.

In fiscal year 2017, the NeighborWorks network counseled 181,400 families and individuals on financial capacity, pre-purchase, post-purchase or foreclosure issues. The organization owned and managed 165,500 rental homes and created more than 43,000 jobs.

Aeon owns and manages income-restricted rental housing that serves nearly 8,000 people annually in the Twin Cities area. Aeon has a number of partnerships with a variety of organizations; last year Aeon preserved and built 1,190 homes.

Naturally occurring affordable housing, or housing that’s affordable without subsidy, has been disappearing faster than organizations like Aeon can preserve or replace it across the Twin Cities, in part because investors have been buying rental properties and remodeling them, enabling owners to raise rents.

Arthur said that naturally occurring affordable housing is being lost a rate of 50 to 100 units per week in the Twin Cities.