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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

With Thanksgiving just days away, are you looking forward to or dreading the family table conversations? If you fall into the latter category (even if you don't), you might get a good laugh from this 2015 sketch on Saturday Night Live called "A Thanksgiving Miracle." In the sketch, a family barely makes it into their Thanksgiving dinner when they start arguing. But then something happens that miraculously brings everyone together: Adele's hit song "Hello" starts playing, and no one can resist singing along. It's hilarious.

At Habitat, we know something else that brings people together: home. We believe that everyone deserves a safe, stable place to call home. When we advocate for policies that support affordable housing, politicians of every political stripe get on board. Here are a few ideas of things you can do with your family that also make a positive difference for housing in the Twin Cities.

Deborah has fond memories of her childhood. Her mom was a natural host, and her home was always filled with people. Friends, family, neighbors—anyone and everyone was welcome at Deborah’s mom’s place.

“She was like a counselor to our friends,” Deborah remembers. “All of our friends would come over to my mom’s house and stay the night.” It was the place to be.

“I’m glad she rubbed off on me!” she adds, laughing, because Deborah’s just the same way—always having people over.

Now, Deborah’s Habitat home is the place to be.

Happy World Habitat Day!

Over 30 years ago, the United Nations established the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day. 

According to the U.N., this day is meant for us "to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It also reminds us we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns."

It's a day for reflection and action. It's for us to think globally, and act locally. 

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.

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