Recently, our Habitat Staff conducted a Supporter Town Hall in order to present their plans for achieving the goals of the new Strategic Plan. The meeting began with an introduction by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity CEO Chris Coleman who outlined the problems that we are currently facing as an organization and the ever-growing need for reliable, affordable housing.
Chris then introduced Land Development Director Chad Dipman to give a more detailed overview of Habitat's various ongoing projects as they relate to Habitat's strategies in expanding homeownership. For example, the Heights project. Twin Cities Habitat currently working with the St. Paul Port Authority and an additional developer in order to fully integrate the former Hillcrest Golf Course into medium-high density housing and commercial real estate. In order to expedite the construction of these units, Habitat plans on utilizing general contractors for some of the work. Ideally, after construction finishes, we will have built 150 units in this area. This proposed plan is the largest of our recent endeavors, but it is far from the only larger project that is currently underway.
There are 17 units being built in Harrison neighborhood in Minneapolis. Additionally, we are currently working on plans to build 12 units in Minnetonka working in collaboration with Mills Church who has agreed to sell the land to Habitat for a reduced rate. Most importantly, Habitat has developed partnerships with several cities for the rehabilitation of existing affordable homes. This work is essential in order to prevent the removal and subsequent replacement of these homes.
Habitat's partnerships with Dakota County and the City of Roseville are already yielding very positive results. The goals of the partnership with Dakota County are to eventually purchase and rehab 64 units. While the goal for the Roseville partnership was expected to yield around three rehab projects a year, Habitat has already reached agreements on nine houses.
One of these Roseville houses has already been chosen by a Habitat family of four as their new home. Part of our strategy in acquiring potential rehab projects involves sending out mailers to current residents asking if they have any interest in selling their homes to Habitat. In this case, the seller Thelma was very excited when she read our mailer. Thelma had already been considering downsizing and wasn't previously aware that selling to Habitat was an option.
Thelma visited the volunteers who were working on renovating the home and stated that she was thrilled to know that a new family would be making their own memories in this home. The new homeowner reflected that:
"Homeownership has always been important to me, it represents stability and freedom. Home is where the heart is. I look forward to my children going to college, coming home to their bedroom that I will keep the same for them, and always having that constant."
If you'd like to watch the full Supporter Town Hall, you can find that here. Or if you would like to read the full Build Forward Together Strategic Plan you can click here.