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Building Community Blog

If you've kept up with the news, especially news around budgets and housing, then you've probably heard of the new policy that puts an end to single-family zoning in Minneapolis. This is just one of two parts of a new long-term development plan, Minneapolis 2040, that outlines major changes for land use. The plan was approved by the Minneapolis City Council in a 12-1 vote in December 2018.

Are you planning to buy your first home in 2019? Congratulations! Homeownership is a goal for many people, and house hunting can be fun and exciting. But, like any other major purchase, it’s wise to do some homework before you start shopping. Are sale prices trending up or down? Are most houses selling quickly or staying on the market for a while? The answers may determine where you look for a house, and even what time of year you start shopping.

Minnesota must get its housing in order. Years of steady cost increases and stagnant wage growth have broken home economics across the state. Today’s families must spend significantly greater percentages of their income just on housing (25% of Minnesotans, and 45% of our renters, are cost-burdened and spending more than 30% of their money on housing). This squeezes budgets and forces painful choices that will have long-term consequences—both for individuals and our entire state.

Guest blog by Caitlin Magistad, Local & Regional Policy Coordinator
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Housing costs continue to increase across Minnesota, while incomes have not kept pace. According to a recent report from the Minnesota Housing Partnership, a full-time minimum wage earner can't afford a one-bedroom apartment in any of Minnesota's 87 counties, and at $18.82, Minnesota ranks #22 in the nation for the highest hourly wages required to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. Low vacancy rates, limited housing stock, and rising housing costs put pressure on low and moderate-income renters and home buyers alike, impacting families and communities across the state. Too many Minnesotans do not have access to safe, stable, affordable housing—together we can change that!

One out of four homebuyers that partner with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity are single women raising children, and nearly all Habitat homebuyers families include mothers and children. It’s data points like these that fuel the fight for affordable housing with groups like Women of Habitat. Raising over $135,000 during the 2017 annual luncheon this past October, the annual Hope Builders Luncheon brings women together to fundraise, but also puts the spotlight on issues and facts that cannot be ignored. The statistics below demonstrate the wide disparity between renters and homeowners.

Twin Cities Habitat is proud to announce that Bremer Bank has committed to be the primary partner in its new Home Loan Impact Fund. Bremer has agreed to purchase up to 500 below-market Habitat mortgages over the next four years, more than doubling the number of local families that can partner with Twin Cities Habitat on affordable homeownership.

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