Local Homeownership Programs Helping First-time Homebuyers

The escalating costs of homeownership have priced many would-be first-time buyers out of the market. In the Twin-Cities metropolitan area, the median home sale price exceeds $230,000. The Community Land Trust model is an innovative program that helps low- and moderate-income renters buy a home of their own.

In Minneapolis, the City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT) has been successful in assisting first-time homebuyers with their Homebuyer Initiated Program. A recent visit to some of CLCLT's new homeowners illustrates the outstanding success of this program as well as the pride of ownership exhibited by the program participants.

South Minneapolis

[Photo: Latonya proudly poses in front of her new home.]
Latonya proudly poses in front of her new home.

Latonya is a mother of three and works as a Minneapolis Public Schools Bus Driver. She shared her story with HUD's Minneapolis Field Office Director during a recent visit with CLCLT Director, Jeff Washburn. Prior to becoming a homeowner, Latonya lived in a basement apartment with her three children. She was more than ready to move! Latonya was like many people that dream about buying a home; she had stable employment, but the price of housing put homeownership beyond her reach. She needed help.

Latonya heard about the CLCLT homeownership program and was soon enrolled in a Homebuyer Education Workshop, meeting with a housing counselor and a real estate agent to help her locate a suitable property. She states, "Everything happened so fast, with a smooth application process...I am very fortunate to be here."

During a tour of her home, Latonya proudly pointed to her sweat equity, a newly painted house, and other updates provided by CLCLT including new siding, windows and electric systems. She loves her new home and her new neighborhood in South Minneapolis, as she emphatically explains "...had there not been such a program, this would not have been possible!"

North Minneapolis

[Photo: Barbara is a proud new homeowner.]
Barbara is a proud new homeowner.

Barbara is a retired. Her Social Security income allows her to qualify for a $105,00 mortgage. When shopping for a home close to her children and grandchildren she soon realized that she was priced out of the market.

That was before Barbara became aware of the CLCLT Homebuyer Initiated Program. Not only did the program allow her to purchase a home, but also the program's design establishes a legacy for the property and insures that the property will be permanently affordable for future low- and moderate-income families. She was very complimentary of the advice and guidance provided during the housing counseling as well as the assistance offered by CLCLT. During our visit, she was still in the process of unpacking her belongings and could not hold back the excitement that she had for her new home.

Learn more about City of Lakes Community Land Trust (http://www.clclt.org/)

Other Community Land Trusts (CLT) in Minnesota.

  • Canon River Community Land Trust (Northfield) call (507) 645-3006
  • Chaska Community Land Trust (http://www.chaskalandtrust.com/) or call (952) 227-7514
  • First Homes (http://www.firsthomes.org/) or call (507) 278-7117
  • Northern Communities Land Trust (http://www.landtrustduluth.org/) or call (218) 727-5372
  • Rondo Community Land Trust (http://www.rondoclt.org/) or call (651) 221-9884
  • Two Rivers Community Land Trust (http://www.tworiversclt.com/) (Washington County) or call (651) 994-9194 ext. 201
  • West Hennepin Affordable Housing Land Trust (WHAHLT) (http://www.homeswithinreach.org/) or call (952) 401-7071

For more information from HUD's office in Minneapolis, call or email Anita Olson, Housing Program Specialist, Customer Service Branch, (612) 370-3000 x2289 or by email: anita_olson@hud.gov.

Content Archived: July 27, 2011