Phew! It’s been a busy year here at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. 2017 was a year of innovation with one big goal in mind: 500 families buying affordable, Habitat homes over four years. That’s the top priority for our Impact 2020 Strategic Plan and we’ve been changing and growing all year to make it happen.
It's an exciting time to be part of Twin Cities Habitat. With so many changes, you may have missed a highlight or two. As we head into 2018, here’s a recap of major happenings from the past year (plus links to the full stories):
Habitat homeownership program 2017 highlights
- New ways to partner to achieve homeownership: Families now have more choice in how they become homeowners with Habitat. As always, households can buy a home built or rehabbed by Habitat (by the way, those homes are still super green). What’s new is that families can opt to partner with us to buy a home for sale on the open market using our affordable mortgage. Nearly 20 families bought homes in 2017 through our new open market program, including Muktar, Esniya, and their kids who we celebrated in May.
- More opportunities for families: We’ve increased the income eligibility limit on our program, so we can partner with more families. Now, a family of five earning as much as $73,450 can qualify to buy a home with Twin Cities Habitat. (See up-to-date Homeownership Program income guidelines.) We’ve learned that these buyers lack options—they often earn too much for other affordable homeownership opportunities, but not enough to quality for a traditional mortgage.
- Referral partner network: Families can work with financial counselors at one of our referral partners, like Model Cities and NeDA, and then come to Habitat when they’re ready for homeownership classes and one-on-one coaching. The network creates deeper community partnerships and broadens our outreach to potential homebuyers.
- Financial coaching: Families interested in homeownership can work with a financial coach to pay down debt, improve their credit, and become mortgage ready. Hundreds of households completed financial coaching in the first year it was offered.
- Bremer Bank partnership: We initiated the biggest banking partnership in Habitat history with Bremer Bank to help us get to that big goal of 500 new homeowners in four years. Bremer buys our mortgages* at a below-market rate, and gifts from people like you make those mortgages affordable for families. Families pay their monthly fixed-interest mortgage to keep the cycle going.
* All Habitat mortgages are originated by TCHFH Lending, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
What else we’ve been up to in 2017
You probably know us for our homeownership program, but Twin Cities Habitat does a lot more than that. Here’s a rundown of our top non-homeownership stories from the past year (click anywhere on the slide to scroll through):
We do this work because of the impact. After buying their homes, Twin Cities Habitat homeowners report that their kids do better in school, their health improves, and they are more financially independent.
You make that impact happen. And your impact multiplies for generations.