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Habitat Construction Begins at The Heights on St. Paul’s East Side

Habitat Construction Begins at The Heights on St. Paul’s East Side

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity begins site work this week and house construction later this month at The Heights on the East Side of St. Paul. Over the coming five years, Twin Cities Habitat will develop nearly 150 affordable homeownership opportunities on four city blocks, roughly 12 acres. The first phase of Twin Cities Habitat’s work will include the construction of 74 units on two blocks. Thirty-five of those units will be home to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project this fall.

“We are thrilled to start construction at The Heights and lay the groundwork for the first 74 units of affordable homeownership at the site,” said Chris Coleman, President & CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and former St. Paul mayor. “Thanks to public and private support, Habitat for Humanity homes are affordable to working-class families, help unlock generational wealth building, and create a more vibrant, equitable community.”

2023.02.16 The Heights Block 3 NE Aerial - sized for web-1

Design rendering of one block of Twin Cities Habitat units at The Heights.

The St. Paul Port Authority is leading the broader $750-million redevelopment effort at The Heights. The 112-acre site is the home of the former Hillcrest Golf Course at Larpenteur Avenue and McKnight Road. The project will not only address critical housing needs but will also have a unique emphasis on environmental sustainability. The Heights is designed to be an all-electric community seeking LEED-Platinum Certification.

The development will include 25 acres of parks and greenspaces, neighborhood gathering spaces, public art, bike and walking trails, and 1,000 living-wage light industrial jobs. In addition to Twin Cities Habitat’s 147 homeownership units, nearly 900 affordable rental units will be developed by Sherman Associates and JO Companies. The Heights is an unprecedented response to the state’s housing crisis, delivering approximately $450 million of new housing. The housing mix at The Heights will include:

  • 147 affordable homeownership opportunities including single-family, twin homes, and townhouses developed by Twin Cities Habitat.
  • 279 rental units (two multi-family buildings) developed by JO Companies.
  • Approximately 620 rental units across four multi-family buildings that are a mix of affordable, deeply affordable, workforce market-rate, and senior housing, developed by Sherman Associates.

Carter Work Project nail apron - for web

The first 35 Habitat units at The Heights will be home to this fall’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, an annual event that celebrates the impact that President and the late Mrs. Carter have had on Habitat’s worldwide mission. From September 29 through October 4, 2024, thousands of volunteers, celebrities, elected officials, and other VIPs will gather to help build homes in this historic development and raise awareness for the critical need for affordable housing in the Twin Cities and around the world. 

Over its nearly 40-year history, the Carter Work Project has touched lives around the world by inspiring more than 106,000 volunteers across the U.S. and in 14 countries to build, renovate, and repair 4,417 Habitat homes. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will continue the Carters’ legacy and serve as hosts of the Carter Work Project in St. Paul. Brooks and Yearwood have participated in this annual event for 14 years.

Carter Work Project 2019

The nearly 150 homeownership units represent the largest project in the history of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. We're expanding our capacity in financing, construction, and sales to support the project and it will extend construction over five years in order to build at a familiar pace. If you're interested in volunteering at The Heights, sign up for our Volunteer Newsletter. Following the Carter Work Project, we'll need lots of help to continue to build and complete these homes. 

The development will provide an amazing opportunity for local households, and particularly families of color, to gain the benefits and wealth-building potential of Habitat homeownership. Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity has been a partner to more than 1,800 successful homeowners in the Twin Cities area.

Features of Twin Cities Habitat’s homeownership program include:

  • Monthly mortgage payments are capped at 30 percent of household income.
  • The mortgage is a low-interest 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate.
  • No down payment required; closing costs and affordability assistance is available.
  • Buyers with household incomes of $50,000-$100,000 or more may qualify.
  • Habitat provides guidance through each step of the process and a homeowners’ education workshop.
  • Habitat also provides post-purchase support that includes maintenance tips, resources, and ways to connect with the homeowner community.
  • Buyers can work with a real estate agent to find a home on the open market or buy a home built or renovated by Habitat.

Anyone interested in buying a Habitat home at The Heights or elsewhere in the metro area is encouraged to explore our Homeownership Program to find out if they qualify.

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