Housing Equity I

Minnesota has one of the worst housing gaps between Black and white people in the United States. While white people have been able to purchase homes and perpetuate generational wealth, BIPOC communities have been systematically discriminated against with regards to homeownership. Low homeownership and further unstable housing negatively influences physical health, mental health, school performance, and crime rates/incarceration. Having a stable, safe, and affordable home is a basic human right.

This month, we’re highlighting the City of Lakes Community Land Trust, Hope Community, and The Alliance, three organizations that are working to improve homeownership and stable housing within the local BIPOC community. Please consider donating to them or volunteering with them!

City of Lakes Community Land Trust

Why I Chose City of Lakes Community Land Trust: This organization is working toward building homeownership among those with low and moderate income; many BIPOC individuals and families fall into this category. Since the land belongs to the land trust, when a home is sold, it can remain affordable for the next homeowner. Meanwhile, the seller can still benefit from the sale of the home in order to purchase a subsequent home. Anyone who owns a home understands that there is a lot of work in maintaining the home, keeping up with the mortgage, etc. The City of Lakes Community Land Trust views homeowners as part of their community and has a number of programs to ensure that their members remain homeowners. — Veronica Soria Miller, AREA cofounder

More Information

Mission: Creating Community Ownership that preserves affordability and inclusivity.

Guiding Principles:

  • Responsive: Programs and services designed to meet community needs and leverage resources responsibly
  • Inclusive: Environment that is respectful and accessible to all community members, buyers, homeowners, and partners
  • Innovative: Solution oriented
  • Collaborative: Private and public partnerships that are mutually beneficial and foster stronger community development

What is a Community Land Trust?

A community land trust (CLT) is a nonprofit, community-based organization that works to provide affordable homeownership opportunities. The CLT acquires the land and holds it in trust forever to ensure that the home remains affordable for future homebuyers. All prospective homebuyers must meet income eligibility guidelines. Homeowners agree to sell their home at a restricted price to keep it affordable for the next homebuyer, but they are able to realize appreciation from improvements that they have made on the home.


So far CLCLT has assisted over 400+  low and moderate-income households into ownership. Homeowners are provided support by CLCLT as long as they live in their home and they can choose to be involved in the CLT community by voting, volunteering, serving on a committee, or becoming a board member. There have been 90+ CLCLT resales – resulting in leveraging the initial affordability investment over time – serving multiple generations of homebuyers with the same funds. In 2019, they added the Minneapolis Commercial Land Trust Initiative; a program that provides perpetually affordable commercial ownership opportunities. The majority of CLCLT staff are BIPOC and women. The elected board of directors is made up of homeowners and community members.

Visit Their Website: www.CLCLT.org

Donate: Click on the donate button on the homepage of website

Hope Community

Why I Chose Hope Community: I selected Hope Community because of the various ways it works to achieve its goals. So that while developing affordable housing is a major goal, individuals are provided education and leadership development so they can participate in the change process. In addition, Hope Community uses various art mediums in its public areas to “tell the stories” of the community and help the healing process. These community centers and parks are both appealing and useful and provide the “canvas” for artists to share their feelings and thoughts about the place they call home. All of these initiatives strengthen the power of the community and its members. — Ann Sittig, AREA cofounder

More Information

Hope Community is based in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis.

They are building a sustainable neighborhood model through:

  • Community organization
  • Active education
  • Leadership
  • Affordable housing development.

Hope Community currently partners with Common Bond Communities and Aeon Management to manage 253 rental units (70% affordable). 

In addition to affordable housing, Hope Community has developed public spaces, including a community center, playgrounds, and large community gardens. They also invest in neighborhood businesses. Hundreds of youth, adults and families are involved each year in learning, leadership and community opportunities. Hope Community creates connections that strengthen the power of community members and communities through art, policy and power, and youth and family engagement.

Website: https://hope-community.org/

Spring Newsletter: https://hope-community.org/spring-newsletter/

Donate:  https://hope-community.org/donate/

The Alliance

Why I chose The Alliance: I choose to support The Alliance because of their values and vision of community engagement. They believe that decision making should be shared with all the people that live in the community and their work centers historically marginalized communities. I really like their agenda to impact multiple areas where inequity exists – housing, transportation, land use, and economic development. Please read their 2021 Agenda here. — Kelli Marks, AREA cofounder

More Information

The Alliance is a coalition of community-based organizations and advocacy groups building shared power and working together to advance strategic campaigns for racial, economic, and environmental justice in economic growth and land development in the Twin Cities region.

The Alliance approach:

  • Coalition organizing
  • Community engagement
  • Strategic system navigation
  • Field building


From their website: “Over the past 25 years, the Alliance has evolved as an organization to center a race equity analysis in its work, cultivated deep relationships with community-based organizations across issues and geographies in the Twin Cities region, and co-created campaigns and coalitions that have made significant progress in addressing structural racism and centering historically marginalized communities in housing, transportation, land use, economic and workforce development, and other critical regional issues.”

Website: http://thealliancetc.org/

Newsletters: http://thealliancetc.org/resources/newsletters/ 

Donate: https://thealliance.kindful.com/