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Building Community Blog

Maybe you've heard about the affordable housing crisis. Do you know the data behind it?

A few months ago, Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) released its Out of Reach Minnesota 2019 report, which covers rental affordability across the state. MHP also released its State of the State's Housing 2019 report, which gives similar affordability information for Minnesota homeowners.

Guest blog by Polina Montes de Oca

Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager

This past summer, Twin Cities Habitat was approached by the ITS (Intro to Success) Festival’s team to partner on their annual event that brings young artists and entrepreneurs of color to explore opportunities that will help them excel in their creative field.

Last week, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity hosted our annual Women of Habitat Hope Builders Luncheon. The highlight of the event was a panel discussion moderated by former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. The four panelists dug into the deep roots of Minnesota’s present-day housing disparities and offered tangible solutions to build a more equitable future.

As Sharon stated during the discussion, “If we understand the truth, then we’re in a better position to try to correct the wrongs.”

An affordable home impacts everything, from strengthening our families to contributing to our region's economic prosperity. Unfortunately, too many of our neighbors lack access to a stable place to live, often forgoing basic necessities like food and health care to make ends meet. The Twin Cities is facing an affordable housing crisis as housing costs continue to rise while wages stay flat. Across the region, 46% of renter households pay too much for housing. It is harder to afford a home now than at any other time in recent memory.

This week marks my one-year anniversary as President and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat. In that time, I’ve learned a lot. I have learned how hard our incredible staff work to serve families throughout the community – be it our Homeownership Advisors helping families become homeowners, our Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention specialists keeping families in their homes, our A Brush with Kindness staff doing needed repairs for longtime homeowners, or Age in Place staff pioneering new ways to help our seniors. Through our Multiplying the Impact Campaign, we have doubled the number of families who partner with us. This year, we will help more than 110 families become first-time homeowners.

Here at Twin Cities Habitat, we feel lucky to work with such knowledgeable and dedicated staff. We knew that was exactly what we’d be getting when Joe Khawaja joined the team as Chief Financial Officer, and we are oh so grateful!

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity recently kicked off construction at our new development in St. Paul's North End neighborhood. Over the next two years, literally thousands of community members from corporate, faith, and Women Build groups will volunteer on the construction of these 11 homes. There were many partners involved in making this project possible, so it's exciting to see it come to fruition.

Have you heard about Twin Cities Habitat's Multiplying the Impact five-year fundraising campaign? It's all about folks like you in the Twin Cities coming together to more than double the Habitat homeownership opportunities—from about 50 to over 100 each year.

Join the movement. Help us multiply the impact. Give and take action today.

What will it take? All of us coming together, digging deep, and giving what we can. And there's so many ways you can get involved and make a difference. Attending a Habitat event is a great way to build stable, affordable homes for local families. (And, if I do say so myself, attending an event is perhaps the most fun way way to give back.)

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