A Homeownership Option for Generations
Over the past seventeen years, Homes Within Reach (HWR) has helped 176 families purchase homes in 12 Hennepin County suburban communities. While growth in the number of communities and families served by HWR continues to increase, it is outpaced by an escalating demand for affordable housing along with the cost of housing rising faster than wages for too many working Minnesotans.
Many of the homeowners HWR has assisted, provide essential services to the community, such as custodians, teachers, municipal workers, retail staff, office personnel, food prep staff, customer service representatives, and many more who were able to purchase a home in the communities where they work and live with the help of the HWR Community Land Trust program.
Since 2002, many of HWR homeowners have shared their stories of how they were able to purchase their homes and the impact that owning their own home has on their lives. The following are few of those stories.
- In 2002, John who had lived in Minnetonka for many years was able to purchase his home with the HWR Community Land Trust program. “As a school bus driver I would never have been able to get a house without your program ... I want to thank HWR for helping people with low income to afford their dream house.”
- In 2006, after moving into her first-ever new home, Jamie said, "I'm excited to teach my daughter about the pride that results from working hard to make a dream a reality instead of just a wish." Also in 2006, another first-time homeowner, Kristin, discovered that "My sense of accomplishment has inspired me to pursue more education and other life goals."
- In 2010, six months after arriving in Minnesota for work prospects, Chris and Angie found HWR through their landlord and purchased their first home where they settled in with their young family in Edina. The couple agreed, “As homeowners, there is a compounding rippling effect in our stability and confidence that continues to ground and grow relationships in almost every aspect of our lives. We plan to retire here and pass our land trust home on to our children.”
- In 2013, Jennifer, a single mother, became a HWR homeowner. “I discovered HWR several years after a divorce and health challenge compelled me to start looking for a home for me and my two boys. I had no real options until a friend told me about HWR, so I did my homework and realized their program could work for us. A few months after my first meeting with the staff, we moved into a great Minnetonka neighborhood, and it’s been home ever since.”
- In 2017, Chris and Sara found their HWR home in Maple Grove where they could easily commute between home and work. “When we rented, we lived on a very busy street and couldn’t enjoy the backyard. Now we live on a quiet street and our children can go outside and play.”
Its homeowner stories like these that motivate HWR to continue creating and preserving unique long-term affordable homeownership opportunities for working Minnesotans who provide essential services to Hennepin County suburban communities. Over the years HWR has seen first-hand how homeownership stabilizes lives, enables greater community and economic participation, and builds assets to pass on to the next generation.
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The Homes Within Reach Story