Three Rivers Community Action and Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership have teamed up to create Achieve Homeownership

In June 2005, the state of Minnesota released The Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative: A Business Plan to Increase Homeownership in Minnesota’s Emerging Markets.  The State Plan identified a significant gap between homeownership rates for whites (77%) versus homeownership rates for minorities (42%). 

In addition to overall population and household increases, southern Minnesota communities are also experiencing growth in the number of emerging market individuals and households.  Between 2000 and 2006, all but one county in the 38 counties of southern Minnesota saw an increase in the percent of emerging market housholds.  Demographics for these southern Minnesota counties show that the largest emerging market groups in the region are Hispanic/Latino(a) and the growing East African (Somali, Sudanese, and Ethiopian) immigrant population.  This presents a significant business opportunity for the region.

In response, Three Rivers Community Action, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership and many other partners have coordinated Achieve Homeownership, a comprhensive network of professionals dedicated to advancing homeownership for emerging markets in Southern Minnesota.

Primary Geographic Targets Include:

  • Faribault/Rice County
  • Owatonna/Steele County
  • Mankato/Blue EarthCounty
  • Rochester/Olmsted County
  • Albert Lea/Freeborn County
  • Austin/Mower County
  • Marshall/Lyon County
  • Worthington/Nobles County
  • Wilmar/Kandiyohi County
  • St. James and Medelia/Watonwan County

Program Goals

  • Create or enhance working groups in each community to provide emerging markets consumers with important resources.
  • Assess and fill gaps in culturally tailored financial literacy, homebuyer education and after purchase counseling.
  • Create a homebuyer mentorship program with peer-to-peer support to enhance long term success.
  • Implement a housing industry recruitment program in the target markets.
  • Create or enhance interpretive services in target communities.
  • Host trainings  about affordable programs for local lenders and real estate agents.
  • Create or expand existing community development institutions (such as Community Development Corporations or Community Development Financial Institutions) in southern Minnesota to enhance funding streams for homebuyers and the entire initiative.
  • Leverage existing financial resources and seek additional financing opportunities (such as downpayment assistance, gap financing, affordable mortgage products, etc.) to assist emerging market households in entering homeownership.

To date, Achieve Homeownership is proud to say that we have had 50 homebuyers, 200 diverse graduates of Home Stretch, 288 participants in financial literacy, 68 households in pre-purchase counseling, over 70 community training opportunities, and 40 students attend our Housing Industry Careers Workshop.