At a time when we are confronted with an increasing crisis around the housing affordability, the importance of homeownership has never been as critical.
More than 1 in 4 Twin Cities families are housing cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income just to have a place to call home. 1 in 10 Twin Cities families pays more than half of their income on housing.
This not only requires families to make difficult choices, choosing between pay for housing or other basic needs, but it also results in many families living in sub-standard housing, if they can find housing at all.
It shouldn’t be this difficult for hard-working families to have a home.
At NeighborWorks Home Partners, we are addressing this crisis.
We help families achieve their dream of homeownership, which, in the Twin Cities, is less expensive than renting and can provide stability and increase household wealth. Our homeownership counseling and advising programs help families get mortgage-ready and provide them with the knowledge for long-term success. Our down payment programs help families overcome the most common barrier to homeownership – the up-front dollars necessary to buy their home.
We preserve existing housing that is affordable to families through our home improvement programs, preventing displacement and ensuring healthy places for families to live.
Our development program rehabs existing vacant homes and builds new homes that are then sold to low-to-moderate income families so they can have a solid foundation to build from.
In the last year alone, we helped 340 families either buy, fix, or keep their homes. While we are very proud of the impact we have been able to make, we know there are many more families in need of housing support.
Please join us in confronting this housing affordability crisis head-on. Everyone deserves a place to call home.
Chief Executive Officer
We imagine a Twin Cities where all people have a home.
We imagine a Twin Cities where all people have a home.
We aspire to be the preferred Homeownership Center dedicated to building and preserving sustainable homeownership for all people in the Twin Cities. We deliver innovative services dedicated to:
Many of our customers tell us that we’ve made a difference in their lives. And some will refer their friends and family to become customers. But it’s not every day that a customer becomes a true champion for our cause. Ericka Frye is one of those going the extra mile to spread the word about NeighborWorks Home Partners.
Ericka, a Frogtown homeowner, was referred to us by another nonprofit when she was seeking help repairing her home. It was an older home that needed extensive repairs.
The process turned out to be a lot easier than she expected. She worked with Marie, our Lending Advisor, to get her loan application completed and then worked with Matt, our Construction Manager, to determine the scope of work and get bids from contractors. Ericka felt like the whole process was educational, appreciated that as homeowners they were able to choose the contractor who would do the work for them.
NeighborWorks Home Partners worked with her to provide a new roof, electrical work, siding, insulation, foundation repairs, and additional heating in some rooms. When the roof was replaced, the contractors learned that there was no decking in the original construction.
Ericka was grateful the work was done when it was. “If we’d had one more winter without repairs, the roof probably would not have held!”
After the work was complete, Ericka didn’t end her relationship. She was eager to participate in a Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers forum, telling everyone how her house was improved. She also tells her friends and neighbors about the work we do.
“The main reason I recommend NeighborWorks is because I believe you guys give the community a break! I call it a win-win. I believe in people helping people,” said Ericka, “and this experience with NeighborWorks kind of took that to a whole other level. I want to help pick people up and share this valuable information with the community, because NeighborWorks has got us to where we are.”
Ericka encouraged her neighbors to “just do it” if they are thinking about getting work done on their home, or repairing their credit, or getting homebuyer education with NeighborWorks Home Partners, and that NeighborWorks is a safe spot.
“It’s not anything we saw ourselves doing, it was a dream of my husband, but NeighborWorks kind of made it all possible. There’s nothing more for us to do now but sit down and enjoy the home,” Ericka said. “With NeighborWorks it just worked out so nicely. We’ve come so far and now we have nothing to worry about.”
Foreclosure is a harrowing process, and finding solutions can be a challenge, especially when you try to do it on your own. One of our recent customers was able to get current on her mortgage and save her home with help from our Homeownership Advisors, Gina.
When Sasha* first contacted us, had been struggling to pay her mortgage due to a loss in income and had been trying to work with her loan servicer to get help to catch up on her mortgage or qualify for a modification. She had applied for the modification and was denied, and did not understand why. The explanations offered by the servicer weren’t very helpful.
At her first appointment with Gina, they worked together to contact the servicer and found out that some of Sasha’s documents were missing. This was why she had been denied. Sasha was surprised at how well the conversation went and the details her servicer provided. Working with an advisor, she was able to get more information than she had on her own.
From that point on, NeighborWorks staff were the intermediary whenever Sasha had questions or needed to get information to her loan servicer. Sasha worked hard at getting the requested documents and continued to work towards catching up on her payments.
But she soon learned the modification was denied again. At this point she was behind by three months.
Gina discussed options and provided referrals to find funds to catch up on her payments. Sasha applied for Emergency Assistance with the county and was able to bring her mortgage up to date, protecting and preserving her home.
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay your mortgage, don’t wait to seek help. Our foreclosure prevention services are free, confidential, and compassionate, and can help provide clarity in a confusing and often overwhelming situation.
*name changed to protect privacy
826 Charles Avenue was one of many homes to fall vacant in the foreclosure crisis, transforming into a trouble spot on the block. Though it was boarded up, squatters took up residence, and it became known as a drug house with frequent police calls.
NeighborWorks Home Partners was able to acquire the home and began a complete restoration, with the goal of it once again becoming an owner-occupied property.
This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home needed extensive work from top to bottom, including: roof replacement, a new heating system, new kitchen, repair of cracked plaster walls, a compeltely redone bathroom on second floor, new windows, a rebuilt front porch, and repaired and restored hardwood floors. In the renovation we also added a new 3/4 bath and mud room/pantry on first floor.
The home was included on the Twin Cities Home Tour, and we also hosted an open house to let neighbors and other community members have a chance to see the transformation. They also shared their stories of the previous residents and the role the home had played on the block, some negative, but most fondly recalling the times when the house had been a happy home.
When the home was listed for sale, it was purchased by a military veteran family just re-entering civilian life with their newborn daughter, after serving with the US Marines. They were able to use NeighborWorks Home Partners down payment assistance to make the home affordable, and were happy to begin their homeownership journey in a lovingly restored home.
“We are enjoying our beautiful home and getting to know our community and fellow neighbors!” – Amanda, new homeowner
Our office space was once a family home connected to a thriving neighborhood business, a florist shop and greenhouse, that served the neighborhood with fresh flowers and houseplants for 110 years. We’ve kept close to these “roots” by maintaining a garden that is part of the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance.
The Greenhouse Garden is currently farmed by YouthFarm, with a plot set aside for a community member in the GrowRx program, where gardening is prescribed as a means of improving health and well-being.
The garden, nominated this year for a Blooming St. Paul award, is a gathering place for the community. It was host this year to our NeighborWorks Week party, a meeting of Urban Farm and Garden Alliance and GrowRx, a garden tour, and, in August, the Garden Gathering.
The Garden Gathering was part of a series of events in Urban Farm and Garden Alliance gardens. Local artists directed community-building activities to bring people together in the outdoors to share in fun and delicious, locally-grown food in a peaceful environment.
“It was a joy to bring plant material to this community event. So often, folks are told ‘don’t touch’, ‘don’t pick’ or maybe have fear of bumblebees or how the texture of plants feel. Activities like this allow a warm welcome to nature, and in this case also shared the beauty!” – Stephanie Hankerson
When Becky Errigo started working with Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation (GFCDC) in 1999, she might have suspected it was a relationship meant to last. After all, her start date, August 13, was an auspicious one: her parents’ anniversary, her brother-in-law’s birthday, the day her sister started her first job, and the day she met her husband. Twenty years (and 90 units of housing) later, that turns out to be the case.
Becky joined GFCDC after meeting one of the board members, an instructor in a watercolor painting class she was taking as a creative outlet. When the instructor learned of her background in interior design and project management, she encouraged her to apply for a part-time, temporary position as Housing Development Project Manager. At that time, the organization was just four people. When GFCDC merged with Community NHS four years ago to become NeighborWorks Home Partners, Becky became the longest-serving member on a staff four times as large.
In her role as Housing Developer, Becky oversees the rehabilitation of vacant homes and the construction of new homes on vacant lots throughout the city. Her goal is to provide safe, stable, affordable, and healthy housing. And her definition of healthy includes aesthetically pleasing. She notes, “I’m really affected by my surroundings. They can greatly influence a person’s well-being, especially in children. Healthy housing is free from mold, asbestos, and lead, but it is also beautiful.”
And the work is always changing. “Every project is different – there is always a new challenge to overcome. I enjoy the problem-solving, bringing out the best in the character of the home, making sure they function well for today. And there is the problem-solving of working with different and limited funding. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money on high-end finishes to make a home beautiful.”
She loves that her work has a human connection. “For me, the best part of the job is handing over the keys to new homeowners,” Becky said. “I usually don’t meet them until closing day, and it’s uplifting to see how excited they are. For most, it’s their first home.“
Annie Carvalho, Vice-President Mike Morrell, Treasurer Juan Bates Krissi Hoffman Shoreé Ingram Kevin Knase Steve Matheson Katelyn Shehu Mai Lee Yang Dave Zastrow
National Community Stabilization Trust
Riverton Community Housing
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Hennepin County District Court
City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development
Affordable Housing Connections
University of St. Thomas
Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
Drewes Law PLLC
Annie Carvalho, Vice-President
Mike Morrell, Treasurer
Mai Lee Yang
Beth Hyser Kjirsten Johnson Megan Adrestia Fraynke Atkinson Matt Brown Gina DeNardo Graf Chris Lubin David Maldonado Marie Malrick Charles Spencer Amanda Welliver Nick Yang
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Program Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Housing Development Coordinator
Business Development Coordinator
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Gina DeNardo Graf
In 2019, NeighborWorks Home Partners launched a sponsorship program to create more opportunities for partnerships with organizations that work to support homeownership. Seven organizations partnered with us in this initial year.
Sponsors provide financial support to underwrite programs like Home Stretch, Homebuyer Basics, Financial Wellness, and Homebuyer Pre-purchase Counseling, and also have the opportunity to contribute to instruction and host education programs on their site.
Trent Bowman of Old National Bank was one sponsor who chose to host a Home Stretch Workshop onsite at his office.
Bowman, who is vice president and community development officer at Old National Bank, notes that working with first-time homebuyers should be an opportunity to assist, support and educate. His partnership with NeighborWorks Home Partners enhanced that opportunity.
“I encourage homebuyers to take some time to research options available to them,” Bowman said. “including using resources like those offered by NeighborWorks Home Partners.”
Every day we help another homebuyer become a homeowner. You can be an important partner of this exciting and important work – making homeownership opportunity available to all strengthening communities, and helping people stay in their homes – by supporting us with a one-time or recurring donation.
Please become a NeighborWorks Home Partner by making a gift today.