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Why Habitat

Habitat impacts every area of a family’s life—health, safety, education outcomes, and financial opportunity. And the impact grows with each generation.


The Need

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Even one family without safe, stable, affordable housing is one too many, but the need is much greater than that.

Currently, one out of four Minnesotans spends more than 30% of their income on housing, leaving less for healthy food, school supplies, and savings. Thankfully, that leaves three in four Minnesotans who can help - including you.

The Twin Cities are in an affordable housing crisis with the triple threat of rising rents, flatlining wages, and extremely low vacancy rates.

Racial Disparities in Housing

These housing challenges disproportionately impact families of color. While Minnesota has one of the highest homeownership rates in the country, it also has one of the widest racial homeownership gaps: 3 in 4 White households own homes compared to 1 in 4 Black households. 

Those disparities didn't come about by accident. Racist policies created them—redlining, racial covenants, steering, interstate construction. We need to be as intentional in closing those disparities as we were in creating them. A first step is to learn about our history to build a better future. Join us by reading our blog series on Race & Housing.

Our Impact


Inadequate housing negatively impacts health, especially for kids. After moving into Habitat homes, asthma and allergies are two conditions that dramatically improve in children.

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Economic prosperity:

A healthy housing market attracts businesses that depend on a range of housing options for their employees.

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Providing stable, healthy housing is one of the most effective ways to help low-income children do better in school.

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When people can find good, affordable housing near their work it decreases the demands on our transportation system, reducing congestion and commuting costs.

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Habitat’s commitment to green building results in energy-efficient homes that are more affordable to maintain.

Habitat homeownership contributes to healthier families, greater success in school, more economic opportunity for families, and revitalized neighborhoods. In 2015, we partnered with Wilder Research and Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota to understand the impact of our work. The outcomes are remarkable. Of the Twin Cities Habitat homeowners who were surveyed:

  • 65% say their kids’ grades have improved
  • 74% are more confident about paying for college
  • 41% have to go to the doctor less now
  • 92% have an adult family member who has returned to school or is planning to return
  • 90% feel better about their children’s futures
  • 80% feel connected to their community

This data proves what we’ve always known about Habitat homeownership—the positive effects ripple to every area of a family’s life and the impact multiplies for generations. For recent stories about families who partner with Habitat, check out our blog:

Family Spotlights

Home is Everything to Me: Kenisha's Story

“Life feels like you're constantly getting knocked down and to stand up for that one moment and get those keys—that was...

A Lifelong Dream Comes True: Angela's Story

Angela’s Journey with Habitat’s Advancing Black Homeownership Program “I feel like I’m finally living!” Angela Gladney...

I'm going to do this one day: Arlisa's Homeowner Story

Arlisa Bullock grew up in North Minneapolis and was an expert in backroads from the city all the way up to Coon Rapids...

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