Guest Blog by Idil Dirie, Capitol Pathways Intern
Each year, hundreds of families partner with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity through our homeownership program, home repair work, foreclosure prevention program, and more. But Habitat supporters can have an even bigger impact across Minnesota when we come together to advocate for affordable homeownership. This year, we have the opportunity to advance powerful legislation that will give thousands more Minnesotans the chance to buy a home they love and can afford.
Check out our groundbreaking legislative priorities below to learn how you can get involved.
First Generation Homebuyers Down Payment Assistance Fund
House File 12 & Senate File 22
Down payment assistance programs are an essential resource for first-generation homebuyers, especially those who may face additional financial barriers. This new fund will provide aid exclusively to first-generation homebuyers whose parents have never owned a home. Targeting assistance specifically to first-generation buyers whose parents do not or did not own a home can help address the wealth gap and systemic inequalities that make it more difficult for these buyers to achieve homeownership. Thanks to a broad coalition of partners including the Minnesota Realtors, Minnesota Homeownership Center, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, this message was conveyed to both the House and Senate Housing Committees and will hopefully be passed into law with your support!
- $176 million investment from the state
- 5,000 first-generation homebuyers will receive help with a down payment of 10% of the cost of purchasing their new homes, up to $32,000
- This program will be a pilot for the next 3 years
Most Habitat homebuyers are first-generation homeowners, and all go through one-on-one financial coaching, homeownership advising, and education courses to find success in homeownership. Our 2023 legislative priorities would impact the local families we partner with and thousands more across Minnesota.
Homeownership Education, Counseling, and Training (HECAT) Program
House File 1219 & Senate File 1380
The Homeownership Education, Counseling, and Training (HECAT) Program provides much-needed resources for everything from pre-purchase counseling to foreclosure prevention assistance. At Twin Cities Habitat, we know that financial coaching and instruction in the skills necessary for homeownership create successful longtime homeowners. We also know that good counseling can prevent foreclosure. Increased funding for HECAT will open more opportunities for homeownership training statewide by helping more individuals with homeownership education. This bill was introduced and heard in both the House and Senate Housing Committees.
How You Can Help
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is excited to advocate for these priorities this session and to inform our state legislators about tangible ways to close the racial disparity in homeownership across Minnesota. But it’s only possible with Habitat supporters like you chipping in!
Please sign up for action alerts from our Government Affairs team that will provide you with simple actions you can take to advance these priorities.
And please join us for Habitat on the Hill-Minnesota on Tuesday, April 25! It will be hosted at the Minnesota State Capitol for the first time this year since the beginning of the pandemic. Hope to see you there!
Habitat supporters meet with state legislators to advocate for affordable homeownership.