<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=730207053839709&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Blake MacKenzie

Blake MacKenzie

Blake MacKenzie's journey with Habitat began in 2013, and in that time he's worked as a Development Assistant Intern, Advocacy Intern, Development Associate, and is now the Communications Specialist. Prior to Habitat, he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead with majors in English Writing and Biology and a minor in Chemistry, and worked as a Community Organizer. He's an avid reader, makes a good risotto, and enjoys the great outdoors.

Building Community Blog

Have you (or someone you know) been interested in Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's homeownership program, but you have a few questions first? You've come to the right place. 

We've compiled some of the top questions we've received from people who are interested in Habitat homeownership. Check them out and see if they answer your questions.

Photos by Paul Dinndorf

You might hear the term “affordable housing” used often, whether in the news or by someone you know. Sometimes misconceptions around affordable housing cause the term to take on a negative connotation. But a home that’s considered affordable – meaning the resident is paying no more than 30% of their income on housing – is a win for everyone.

Here’s some facts about affordable housing to set the record straight.

Kaia strapped her young son into his baby seat on her bike and headed out for a leisurely ride. It was a beautiful day in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1987. As they were riding, they saw an awesome sight: a house on wheels! It was an old, large duplex on a truck, slowly making its way down the street. They thought it was pretty awesome.

“I remember this distinctly—but I never dreamed that’s where I’d end up living!” Kaia says.

If you’ve been to a bank anywhere in the Twin Cities within the last few years, chances are Hunde’s been there too. But even after visiting every bank he could find over the last decade, he couldn’t find a mortgage for a home. Until Habitat.

Hunde and his family moved to the United States from Ethiopia in 2008. Not long after, he began dreaming of buying a home. He shared his story at Habitat on the Hill 2018; here’s a bit of it.

Robyn Bipes-Timm has kept coming back to housing throughout her life. She’s the Vice President of Loan Fund and Mortgage Lending, as well as the President of TCHFH Lending, Inc., Twin Cities Habitat’s nonprofit mortgage lending company. And she was already working on housing projects in high school and college, painting homes for family friends, and joining a roofing and siding crew in Oregon.

A gift

After Jan Pederson retired as a social worker with Ramsey County, she did not slow down one bit. She was all about helping people. Among many things, she served lunches for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity volunteers every summer through her church, Centennial United Methodist, part of the Holy Hammers Coalition. When Jan passed away in 2016, it wasn’t surprising for those closest to her that she laid out her estate to benefit organizations close to her heart, like Habitat.

Our volunteers are not the only ones giving of their time and energy to serve Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s mission. This National Volunteer Recognition Week, we are taking a day to acknowledge our AmeriCorps and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) members. Both are programs under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that seek to support people of all backgrounds in serving their communities.

The first time that Sharon Mason went to the State Capitol to advocate with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, here’s how she felt: “I had butterflies, I feared that I didn’t have enough expertise to talk to my legislators, I was somewhat intimidated by the largess and grandeur of my surroundings…and I didn’t even know where I was supposed to park.”

Now, Sharon regularly updates her legislators on the latest affordable housing news throughout the legislative session. She’s brought friends to the Capitol who are now passionate advocates as well. And she definitely knows where to park.

All Posts Next