Two Limited Time Home Assistance Programs in Minneapolis

There are two new assistance programs available in Minneapolis for home buyers and home owners, but act fast because they are limited in availability and funds.

First, Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis is offering home buyers in North Minneapolis a $5,000 forgivable loan towards the down payment of a home if a purchase agreement is signed by May 31 and the sale is closed by August 15. If the new owner lives in the home for 5 years, the interest-free loan will be forgiven. There are no income restrictions for qualifying. Loan funds for this program are limited to $100,000, so when it's gone, it's gone!

Second, homeowners and buyers in foreclosure-impacted neighborhoods of Minneapolis can apply to the City’s Rehab Support Program. It has a fund of $750,000 with which to finance to complete improvements, potentially increasing the home’s market value. The pilot program offers loans of up to $20,000 at zero-percent interest. Funding the City received from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency will be matched dollar for dollar by the homeowner from any other source they choose. Approximately 50 loans will be available through this program. The program is available to qualified homeowners and buyers in neighborhoods where 10 percent of the housing stock is in foreclosure. Eligible neighborhoods are: Shingle Creek, Lind-Bohanon, Webber-Camden, Cleveland, Folwell, McKinley, Jordan, Hawthorne, Willard-Hay, Harrison and Near North on the city’s Northside and Central and Bryant neighborhoods on the Southside. Check out the City of Minneapolis website to view further restrictions.

If you're a home owner or home buyer that fits these qualifications in Minneapolis, it could be worth looking into these programs.


August Events in the Twin Cities

August is a swinging month in the Twin Cities when it comes to community celebrations, festivals, and other excuses to walk around in shorts and eat "Something on a Stick." There's lots to do, starting with today!

New Brighton's annual summer Stockyard Days are taking place on August 2 through 9. The event, now in its 29th year, features a golf tournament, a kiddie parade and grand parade, street dances, and fireworks. For a complete list of times and locations for all Stockyard Days activities, go to and click on "events."

Lake Hiawatha’s Annual Neighborhood Festival is taking place today, Wednesday, August 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lake Hiawatha Park, 2701 E. 44th Street in Minneapolis. There will be a talent show with prizes, carnival games, food for sale, and community information tables.

There will be some Outdoor Puppet Theater on Thursday, August 6, from  6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Folwell Park, 1615 Dowling Avenue N. in Minneapolis. "The Adventures of Katie Tomatie" will be presented by Open Eye Theatre with live music.

LYNAS Summerfest takes place on Thursday, August 6, from 5:30 p.m to 9p.m. at Lynnhurst Park, 1345 Minnehaha Pkwy. W. in Minneapolis. As always, the annual event will be a fun evening for the whole family with food, games, music and more.

The 36th Annual Longfellow Cornfeed occurs on Thursday, August 6, from 5:30 p.m to 8 p.m. at Longfellow Park, 3435 36th Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Join in for an evening of fun, food, and entertainment perfect for the entire family! Enjoy hot, delicious corn on the cob, live family-friendly entertainment, hair and face painting, fair style concessions, large inflatable attractions, community information tables, and much more!

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is partnering with the Minneapolis Institute...

New Home Buyer Programs

A new round of home buyer programs have started or will be starting soon in the Twin Cities.

First, the Minneapolis Advantage program will help at least 200 people buy of foreclosed or vacant houses in targeted areas of the city. It offers as much as $10,000 in forgivable loans toward a down payment, closing costs or repairs for vacant or foreclosed single-family houses or duplexes.
Applicants who earn less than 80 percent of area median income ($64,720 for a four-person family) are eligible if they buy a foreclosed house or one vacant more than 30 days in these neighborhoods: Bryant, Sheridan, Lind-Bohanon, Venture Village, Whittier, Audubon Park, Holland, Phillips West, Cleveland, McKinley, Harrison, Powderhorn Park, Webber-Camden, Midtown Phillips, Folwell, Near North, Central, Willard-Hay, Jordan, Hawthorne, East Phillips or Beltrami.

People earning less than 120 percent of area median income ($97,080 for four people) are eligible for help with purchases of such houses in the above neighborhoods plus the Corcoran, Bottineau, Regina and Victory neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are adding to the city's incentives.
Please visit the Minneapolis Advantage program website to learn more.

Next, there are two new programs to buy homes in Saint Paul that will begin soon.

The first is the federal Take Credit program. Take Credit has a fund of $8 million worth of tax credits for qualified first-time homebuyers who purchase homes in St. Paul. It is meant to help up to 130 first-time homebuyers who meet certain limits on income and the price of the home being purchased. (I think this program applied to homes in Minneapolis, too, but the specific details for the city weren't provided - it is the Pioneer Press, after-all).

The second program is specifically for St. Paul though, and that is what is being dubbed as the...

Twin Cities Community Events: September

The Windom South Fall Festival held from 4-8 p.m. at Windom South Park, 5821 Wentworth Ave. S, Minneapolis, on September 6. 

Also at the Windom South Park on September 6, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly installed tot-lot on at 5 p.m.

At Van Cleve Park, 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, the Como Cookout will occur on September 20 from 4-7 p.m. There will be food, community information, games, music, and other activities.  Co-sponsored by Southeast Como Improvement Association and the University of Minnesota, this event is free.

Dog Daze will be held at Folwell Park, 1615 Dowling Ave. N, Minneapolis, on September 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your dog for fun and exercise, entertainment, food, resources, displays, and more! Co-sponsored by Folwell Neighborhood Association, this event is free!!

At Fire Station 4, 505 Payne Avenue East, St. Paul, the Invest Saint Paul initiative will hold a Community Days event on Wednesday, September 10 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Events include free prizes, Parks and Rec Mobile Team with games and arts and crafts for kids, Saint Paul Public Libraries’ Bookmobile, a fire truck, ambulance, and police officers and fire fighters for residents to meet.  There will also be representatives from each city department to inform residents about the resources city departments provide and how to access them.

Also at Fire Station 4, the "Celebrate A Healthy Heart" event will be held on Wednesday, September 10 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  You can meet Fire Chief Tim Butler, participate in a simple exercise, test your nutrition knowledge, see the latest in emergency heart care, tour an ambulance, interact with our Question and Answer Board, and more! A free carbon monoxide detector will be given to each household, while supplies last.

On September 19 and 20...

July Minneapolis Community Events

Hot town, summer in the City!  The fine City of Minneapolis, that is.  The Parks & Recreation Centers will celebrate the summer with concerts, ice cream socials, festivals, art fairs, neighborhood carnivals, cornfeeds and more! Bring the family and join your neighbors for summertime in Minneapolis Parks!

Bryant Square Park – Ice Cream Social, July 9th, 6-8 p.m. Ice cream, pizza, dunk tank, moon walk, art, environmental activities and music; fees for food and some activities. 3101 Bryant Ave. S.

Kenwood Park – Ice Cream Social, July 15, 6:30-8 p.m. Art, environmental activities, Dunk Your Coach tank, music by KidsDance; free. Co-sponsored by Kenwood Isles Neighborhood Association, WESAC Youth Sports. 2101 W. Franklin Ave.

Brackett Park – Summer Fest, July 16, 6-8 p.m. Clowns, magician, face painting, moonwalk, food; $2 per person, $10 family. 2728 39th Ave. S.

Creekview Park – Ice Cream Social, July 16, 6-8:30 p.m. Games, prizes, food, ice cream, dunk tank, face painting, music; free. Co-sponsored by Camden Dairy Queen, Camden Lions Club. 5001 Humboldt Ave. N.

Victory Park – Classic Big Band, The Nostalgics Concert, July 17, 7-9 p.m.; free. Co-sponsored by Victory Neighborhood Association. By the flagpole at 4414 Upton Ave. N.

Nokomis Park – Summer Fest, July 18, 6-8 p.m. Music, arts and crafts projects, moonwalk, neighborhood group booths, refreshments; entrance fees. 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy.

Lyndale Farmstead Park – Rosefest, July 19, noon-8 p.m. Inflatable rides, carnival games, pony rides, dunk tank, music, food, info booths, neighborhood garden tour, Superintendent House tours; fees. Co-sponsored by East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association,...

Minneapolis' Camden Community Highlights

Camden is a community in Minneapolis, covering the upper western half of the north side. Its boundaries are 53rd Avenue North to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, Lowry Avenue North to the south, and Xerxes Avenue North to the west. The community is composed of seven smaller neighborhoods. It also contains the Camden Industrial Area and the Humboldt Industrial Area, neither of which are assigned to an official neighborhood.

Cleveland - The Cleveland neighborhood can be found on the very edge of the city of Minneapolis. Its boarders extend from Dowling Avenue North to Lowry Avenue in the south and from Penn Avenue in the east to Xerxes Avenue to the west. The neighborhood is named after Grover Cleveland, who was born in 1837 and was president of the United States two times.

The Cleveland neighborhood has a suburban feel to it, despite its location in the city. The residences which can be found here are mainly single-family detached houses. Cleveland has a larger proportion of owner occupied housing than most of Minneapolis. The price of homes here also tends to be less than the median Minneapolis price.

The local neighborhood school, Lucy Craft Laney School, is a major draw for city residents. The K-8 school offers special programming for gifted and talented students, an all day kindergarten and classes in the performing arts and choir as well as Language Learner programming in the Hmong language.

Located next to the school is Cleveland Park, a vital part of the Cleveland neighborhood. Its amenities include picnic areas, a tot lot and wading pool, an arts and crafts room with regularly scheduled activities, and playing areas for basketball, baseball and softball. The facility also has meeting rooms and rest rooms available to the public.

Folwell – The Folwell neighborhood...

New Minneapolis Loan Program

On April 4th of this year, the Minneapolis city council approved a new loan program for buyers who purchase a single-family dwelling, or duplex, in 18 specific Minneapolis neighborhoods. The chosen neighborhoods have experienced higher than normal levels of mortgage foreclosures. The program, named the Minneapolis Advantage loan program, offers a $10,000 zero percent interest loan that is forgivable over five years to anyone buying a home in key neighborhoods.

The loan can be applied towards down-payments and/or closing costs. The loans can also be used by the buyer to offset any repairs that will be done to the home. Any amount that is not spent must be returned and will be deducted from the loan. The Minneapolis Advantage loan does not apply for investment properties, however. Not only must you live in the home, but you must occupy it within 60 days following purchase. The loan will not accrue interest and will be forgiven at a 20% rate each year over 5 years as long as you live in the home. If the property is sold, the mortgage is paid off in full, or you move out during that 5 year period, the loan amount will become due.

Minneapolis neighborhoods which are spearheading this program include Camden, Weber, Folwell, and McKinley. These neighborhoods are already offering an additional $4,000 for homes bought in their areas. Combined, the two offers effectively offer up to $14,000 towards the purchase of a home. Harrison neighborhood also has $4,000 in mortgage assistance that can be added to the program and an additional $15,000 that can be spent towards renovation of the home, bringing the potential amount to $29,000!

Nearly anyone can take advantage of these offers. More great news? The offer is not based on any home price! Whether it’s a $150,000 home or a $350,000 home, the benefit is the same.

The City of Minneapolis intends to have the program ready in May....