About Us

Riverside Plaza Tenants' Association

Riverside Plaza Tenants’ Association (RPTA) is a 501(c) (3) organization established in 1986 to serve residents of the Riverside Plaza Housing Complex, which was constructed in 1973 as part of the new “New Town – In Town” model to dramatically integrate housing, jobs, arts, recreation, shopping and health care.


Mission Statement

The Riverside Plaza Tenants’ Association exists to build a cohesive community, which embraces the diverse cultural and economic realities of the Riverside Plaza residents, and to represent and further the interests of these tenants.

Organization History

Riverside Plaza Tenants’ Association (RPTA) is a 501(c) (3) organization established in 1986 to serve residents of the Riverside Plaza Housing complex in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Riverside Plaza Housing Complex was constructed in 1973 as part of the new “New Town – In Town” model to dramatically integrate housing, jobs, arts, recreation, shopping and health care. It sought to create “a city within a city” for lower income Minneapolis residents. That dream failed to some extent. Residents rejected the idea of an “artificial community” and massive protests stopped the construction of 8 to 10 more buildings.

Nevertheless, today the complex of six high-rise buildings is home to approximately 4,500 – 5,000 residents and often the first home in the United States for immigrant families. About 80 percent of the residents are immigrants and refugees from East Africa, primarily from Somalia. The remaining 20 percent are of Asian ethnicity with a small percentage of Latinos and African Americans.

RPTA operates on an annual budget, in the form of an administration fee, which it receives as being a full member in the Riverside Plaza Limited Partnership. This budget pays for the annual cost of operating the RPTA office, staff, consultants, insurance premiums, and the cost of conducting board and committee meetings, special events and the publication of a bi-monthly newsletter, circulated throughout the apartment complex.

RPTA also receives funding from Minneapolis Public Schools to provide Adult Basic Education to its large immigrant population as part of the Cedar Riverside Education Collaborative in partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools and Brian Coyle Community Center. RPTA serves as fiscal agent for the Collaborative.

Within the Riverside Plaza complex, RPTA maintains three large classrooms, one computer lab and offices.