More cash to help buyers stake a claim

  • by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 23, 2008 - 11:01 AM

Minnesota's new homesteaders -- low- to moderate-income working families, minorities, seniors and households headed by single women -- are a boon for the slumping housing market and communities statewide. That's why two new loan programs have been created to help these "emerging market" households become successful homeowners over the long term. In addition to those financing assistance programs, there are educational seminars on home purchase help programs, and the Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative (EMHI) aims to boost home ownership among minority and immigrant households. That assistance helps low-income "new homesteaders" get into homes and can revitalize areas hit hardest by foreclosures. For example, the newest pilot city program, Minneapolis Advantage, offers a $10,000 loan toward a single-family home or duplex in designated neighborhoods that becomes a grant if the homeowner stays in the house at least five years. "The loans are for people who want to help rebuild these neighborhoods," said Suzanne Snyder, program director for Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp. "There is some great housing stock and active communities."

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