Who ABWK helps

  • Homeowners who are living in their home full time. We don’t work with landlords.
  • People with unsafe living conditions in their home.
  • People forced to choose between necessities like food, medicine, taxes, utilities and home maintenance.
  • People facing a city code violation or insurance policy cancellation.
  • Many ABWK clients are single parents, elderly, people with disabilities or Veterans.
  • Many ABWK applicants have worked for years maintaining their homes and now find themselves in an awkward and sometimes embarrassing position of asking for help.
A Brush with Kindness eases wary homeowner concerns by providing home preservation services that are sensitive to homeowner circumstances.


Eligibility & Financial Partnership

  • ABWK works on owner-occupied properties in the 7-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties)
  • Applicants must have owned their home for at least 2 years and have homeowner’s insurance, and cannot have received assistance through ABWK in the past 2 years.
  • ABWK provides assistance to applicants who fall below 80% of the average income for a Twin Cities family.
    • See the current income limits below.
  • Repairs must be health and safety focused, and fit within program resources
  • Homeowners are given the opportunity to choose which option for financial partnership with the program will best fit their family. These options include: 
Option #1 Affordable 2-year repayment plan 25% discount on fair market value of the project
Affordable, monthly payment based on 30% debt-to-income ratio with maximum payments not to exceed $250/mo for 24 months
Option #2 Forgivable Mortgage 10 year, declining forgivable mortgage based on fair market value of project; fully forgiven in the event of death of all mortgages



Income Limits - 80% of Twin Cities’ Area Median Income (AMI)

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity - A Brush With Kindness Income Guidelines*

Household Size Maximum Yearly Income
1 $46,000
2 $52,650
3 $59,150
4 $65,700
5 $71,000
6 $76,250
7 $81,500
8 $86,750
9 $91,980
10 $97,236
11 $102,492
12 $107,748
13 $113,004
15 $123,516

These guidelines include all forms of income: employment (including: regular wages, overtime wages, differentials, stipends, bonuses, tips, commission, and other wage sources), public assistance of cash, SSI, etc.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush With Kindness program serves families under 80% of the Twin Cities Area Median Income.

* Effective June 6, 2016. TCHFH reserves the right to revise these guidelines at any time.

What ABWK does

A Brush with Kindness staff and volunteers help homeowners make needed repairs to create a safe and decent environment for their families. Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Exterior Painting
  • Exterior Repairs
    • Roofing
    • Soffit/Fascia
    • Siding
    • Entry Stairs/Handrails
    • Deck Repairs
    • Doors
    • Windows (typically repair only, not replacement)
  • Interior Repairs
    • Handrails
    • Plaster/Drywall
    • Flooring
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
    • Heating
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair Ramps or Accessible Stairs
    • Interior Grab Bars
    • ADA Height Toilets
    • Lever-Handles for Doors and Faucets

Apply for ABWK

Applications for the ABWK program are made available in a first-come, first-served basis each year for as long as the program has resources. Once you submit your application, a staff member will contact you to review your situation and set up a home assessment to evaluate your home repair needs. If your application is accepted, program staff, volunteers and/or contractors will work to complete your home repairs within one year of your application.

The A Brush With Kindness program is not currently accepting applications. Please check back in the spring for more information about when applications will be made available for projects beginning in Winter 2017-2018.

In the meantime, you can review this list of additional local resources, or call 612-788-8169 to discuss our application process or alternative home maintenance options with our knowledgeable staff.


ABWK Results

A Brush with Kindness ensures families are living in safe and well-maintained homes; keeps homeowners in their homes, protecting their financial investments; and restores homeowners’ dignity and pride of homeownership.

  • ABWK staff and roughly 2,000 volunteers make critical repairs to approximately 80 homes across the Twin Cities annually.
  • More than 1,800 homes have been repaired by ABWK since the program began in 1998.
  • Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity helped Habitat affiliates around the country replicate this first-in-the-nation Habitat repair program.
  • The end results are homes that are safe and well maintained, homeowners who are able to keep their homes, and neighborhoods that are renewed.

Where the money goes

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity strives to do the most good with every single dollar entrusted to us. Rest assured that a gift to support our mission creates an immediate and significant impact for the families and communities we partner with.

86.4% Programs & Services, 10.4% fundraising, 3.2% Administration

Every $1 you donate results in almost $2 of economic activity in our community.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS. Tax ID Number: 36-3363171. NMLS ID 400065