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about us

Our Vision:
Neighbors raising their collective voices to address injustice and overcome the barriers that perpetuate inequity.

Our Mission:
The mission of Urban Homeworks is to perpetuate the hope of Jesus Christ through innovative community development.

Urban Homeworks catalyzes powerful people, using equitable housing as a platform to build community. We transform vacant or distressed properties into dignified, healthy homes in neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul, redeeming real estate so that the community can catalyze change agents and leaders.

Our People Oriented Development (POD) model engages people in determining what their neighborhoods look like, catalyzes them to become powerful advocates, and promotes active neighboring. This work helps reverse deeply entrenched inequities allowing for solutions to emerge organically from within neighborhoods.

average days in Urban Homeworks housing
days | longest length of stay in UHW housing
total homes redeveloped
people currently housed

2019 Annual Report & Donor List | Click Here

2018 Annual Report | Click Here
2018 Donor List | Click Here

what we do

 

Housing

Urban Homeworks focuses the combined resources of the public, private and faith sectors to transform vacant, condemned, or underutilized properties and vacant lots into quality, attainable places to live for low to moderate income households.

Housing has been one of the primary ways that racialized wealth gaps have been maintained in our country’s history.  Our goal is to transform housing into a redemptive force not only for the resident or owner, but for the contractors, vendors, and individuals and businesses that benefit from the development and management of the housing we work with.

Our ultimate aim is dignified housing – housing that is both affordable and high quality, and includes a supportive network with a responsive landlord and resources from local community partners.

With dollars leveraged from public and philanthropic sectors, Urban Homeworks offers rental and homeownership opportunities for a broad range of income levels.

Dignified Rentals

Urban Homeworks provides quality rental  housing that is both affordable and dignified.  Our expertise is in small-scale, scattered site housing.  Partnerships with local social service organizations often add support to assist rental families in gaining greater stability. 

In November of 2018, after careful evaluation we decided to bring in Property Solutions and Services as our third-party property management company. Beyond our properties, they manage 500+ units through Minneapolis and St Paul, have significant expertise in funder regulations (compliance), and experience working in the neighborhoods we’re located.

Email rental@urbanhomeworks.org to be notified when vacancies become available. 

Qualifications for Renting

Rental History
Positive and Verifiable rental history 12 months of the past 36 months  

No Negative Rental History in the past 36 months (Eviction, Money Owed, Damage to property)   

Verifiable Gross Income
Required minimum monthly income of 2 ½ x monthly rent  

Pass Criminal Background Check
A record of no “adverse” criminal convictions for at least five years: an adverse criminal conviction or incarceration record is considered a history which would adversely affect the safety, well-being of residents, staff or which would adversely affect the viability of Urban Homeworks. Any record of any sexual offense, arson, or serious violent felonies; will automatically disqualify an applicant household. 

No Outstanding Utility Bills
You must have the ability to have utilities in your name where required

Homeownership

Urban Homeworks transforms quality single-family homes, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, for purchase through a regular loan buying process. Houses available for sale include high-quality rehabs as well as new constructions.

Houses available for sale include high-quality rehabs as well as new construction, and are primarily restricted to buyers earning at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Email homeownership@urbanhomeworks.org to be notified when properties are listed for sale.
Urban Homeworks does not currently provide the following services:
  • Homeownership or financial counseling (contact the MN Homeownership Center to find a counselor and help with purchasing https://www.hocmn.org/buyingahome/),
  • Lease to purchase contract
  • Contracts for deed
We are developing programs for residents to directly or cooperatively purchase our small multi-family properties. If you are interested in receiving updates on properties for sale and the small multi-family ownership programs as they develop, sign-up for updates by contacting homeownership@urbanhomeworks.org.

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Geography

We focus most of our homeownership projects on North Minneapolis and Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul. These communities experienced high levels of vacancy and foreclosure rates during the great recession and have only recently started to recover property values.  

Reinvestment

As the housing market stabilizes and values appreciate in these areas, investors with a focus on profit are increasingly being drawn to purchase properties in these areas. Our goal is to facilitate community ownership in these properties before they are bought up by investors and to keep prices at an attainable purchase level for a variety of household sizes and incomes.    

Pre-qualifications for Prospective Buyers

Meet required income guidelines as defined in each property listing

City of Lakes Community Land Trust propertieshave additional application and qualification requirements

Typically agree to occupy the home as their primary residence for at least 5 years 

Equity & Engagement

Urban Homeworks uses housing as a platform to catalyze powerful people in becoming change agents. We believe people are not beneficiaries of charity but actors in their own destiny. Families make homes, homes make neighbors and neighbors create community. 

We focus on both the physical structure of houses and the people  in the homes.  This is what we call People Oriented Development.  (POD)  

Leadership Council

Our POD Council, made from both Urban Homeworks’ residents and their neighbors, promotes leadership and civic engagement, This leadership cohort informs and drives our POD vision and activities. 

Activities

Social activities are essential to forming healthy and sustainable communities, in spaces where we have fun and build trust we gain the capacity to work together for the changes we seek in our community. 

Education

Educational opportunities are a key component, so renters and homeowners understand their rights and responsibilities in building a sustainable and equitable community.  We provide classes and training experiences in partnership with community collaborators.

Community Organizing

Our organizing activities take place in the context of a trusting environment where people can share stories and seek solutions.  This group then commits to act together in confronting injustice and seeking equity. 

Community Collaborators

Urban Homeworks collaborates with community partners to influence collective positive change. We build on and contribute to the work of others to encourage sustainable, people-based solutions for the stability, health, and well-being of our neighbors and neighborhoods.

get involved

Volunteers

Volunteers are essential to our work.

They provide on-site labor, office support, donations, holiday baskets and more. We are eager to partner with you and your group for a meaningful experience for us both.

Want to learn more about volunteering with us?

On-Site Volunteering

Join us in renovating a newly acquired property or revitalizing an apartment between residents. This work can include cleaning, painting, light carpentry, light demolition, landscaping, etc. No experience is necessary, and all tools are provided.   

Groups of 10-15 volunteers  
Work day typically runs 8:30am – 4:00pm  

When you volunteer with a group your sponsorship helps keep our housing affordable to the families we serve. 

We ask churches and faith groups to contribute $1,000/day and corporations $1,500/day to cover additional volunteer expenses like insurance,  supplies  and staffing.   

Interested in having a group join us?

Please fill out the group volunteer form here.

Individual

We dedicate the 3rd Saturday of every month to individuals! Sign up today for an opportunity to live out your beliefs and network with a group of like-minded individuals!

Max 15 volunteers per day
Work day typically runs 9:00am – 1:00pm 
No fee to join us on individual volunteer days

Click here to apply to volunteer.

Baskets

Volunteer without ever swinging a hammer! Fill this need anywhere, anytime, from anyplace. Engage your children, youth group, or office by putting together a basket filled with items that would be useful as a new neighbor.

Every year, we welcome home at least 60 families, and their journeys warrant a celebration. By putting together baskets you’re playing an integral role in their stability and our community building efforts. We are always in need of baskets. Contact our team to get started!   

Office Volunteers and Interns*

We need consistent volunteers to help in the office. Hours can be flexible – sometime between 9 and 5 on most days.  

To learn more about office volunteer opportunities please contact Emily at emilyl@urbanhomeworks.org

*View our current internships & job openings here 

Administrative & Database Management
Filing, database updating and entry, during office hours. Attention to detail and computer skills required, but training provided. 
 

Reporter
Gather stories and pictures from our different program areas and help prepare them for our communications. No camera required, but photography and writing/editing abilities preferred.  
 

Event Coordination
Help us tackle the planning process as we get ready for events during the year, including fundraisers and celebrations.  
 

Community Outreach
Distribute flyers door-to-door to share information about homeownership possibilities. Excellent communication skills required. Walking required. Suggested 4–5 hours/week.
 

who we are

Director’s Team

AsaleSol Young

AsaleSol Young

Executive Director
Lindsey Hunter

Lindsey Hunter

Human Resources Director
Anne Ketz

Anne Ketz

Real Estate Development Director
Randy Hanson, CPA

Randy Hanson, CPA

Finance Director

Leadership Team

Arian Arriola

Arian Arriola

Communications and Marketing Manager
Kelsey Dellwo

Kelsey Dellwo

Sr. Accountant
Tiffany Dykes

Tiffany Dykes

Grants Manager
Yuri Harper

Yuri Harper

Housing Specialist, NAZ
Marque Jensen

Marque Jensen

Equity and Engagement Manager
Azad Lassiter

Azad Lassiter

Real Estate Development Project Manager
Emily Lassiter

Emily Lassiter

Sr. Development Officer
Joyce Thomas

Joyce Thomas

Office and Engagement Coordinator
Barbara White

Barbara White

Real Estate Development & Construction Coordinator
Want to join the team? Learn more about current opportunities, here.

Board of Directors

    • Collin BarrTreasurer | President – Ryan Companies, North Region
    • Terry Becker | Former President – Riverway LLC
    • Shanelle Hall | Client Services Supervisor, Community Action Partnership
    • Becky Landon | CEO – Landon Group, LLC
    • Danyika Leonard, Co-Chair | Policy Director, Education Evolving
    • Claudia Oxley, Co-Chair | Retired
    • Lee Schafer | Business Columnist – Star Tribune
    • Kayla Schuchman | Director of Housing, City of St. Paul

Partners

  • Traditions Capital Bank
  • The Kirk and Julie Cousins Foundation
  • Bell Lumber and Pole
  • Christ Presbyterian Church
  • Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia
    (Renters United for Justice)
     

  • Nexus Community Partners
  • Northside Home LLC 
  • Normandale Housing
  • Property Solutions and Services (PSS)
  • CURA
  • MN Housing Finance Agency 

  • City of Minneapolis
  • City of St. Paul
  • Project for Pride in Living
  • Twin Cities Land Bank
  • Sunrise Banks 

  • Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
  • Home Line
  • LISC
  • Riverway Foundation
  • Twin Cities Rise
  • Success Computer Consulting 

updates

Celebrate Juneteeth!

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States nearly 2 1/2 years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on June 19th, 1865. Check out the list of activities organized by the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board and Juneteenth Community Board commemorating Juneteenth:

June 13-19: Juneteenth Story Strolls Story Strolls are a fun way to enjoy reading while spending time outdoors. Community members are invited to visit the park and walk the path as they read the book. This is a self-guided tour that families can enjoy at their leisure.

Story Stroll signs will be up on a continuous basis for the week.

“Black is a Rainbow Color” by Angela Joy
Location: Trails near Theodore Wirth Beach area “Juneteenth for Mazie” by Floyd Cooper

“Juneteenth for Mazie” by Floyd Cooper
Location: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park “The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander

“The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander
Location: North Commons Park. Presented in collaboration with Hennepin County Library. 

Presented in collaboration with Hennepin County Library

June 15 (Dusk/9 pm):
Drive-In Movie: “42”
Location: Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board Headquarters
Register Here

June 17 (6-8 pm):
Community Panel Discussion – Bridging the Gap Virtual

June 18 (7-9 pm):
Shingle Creek Juneteenth Family Night
Location: Creekview Park
– Announcement of Essay Contest Award Winner and Coloring Contest 
– DJ music provided Djdime
– A special announcement from General Granger 
– Youth dance performance  Distribution of Juneteenth Activity Bags

June 18 (Dusk/9 pm):
Outdoor Movie: The Great Debaters
Location: Creekview Park All June 18th activities presented in collaboration with Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association and Creekview Park. 

June 19 (10 am -Noon):
Community Panel Discussion – Public Safety: Where Do We Go From Now
Virtual (1 pm – 3 pm)
Music in the Park – DJ D.I.M.E., Jovonta Patton, Royal Family Music Group
Flight for Freedom – Kite Flight
Location: Bethune Park
9 pm
Outdoor Movie: Jumanji: The Next Level
Location: Webber Park

More ways to learn about Juneteenth:

People Oriented Development (POD Power)…

The first quarter of 2021 pushed us into new places of growth and strength. While 2020 was a challenging year of reacting to traumatic and confusing events, 2021 has been a time to build on the relationships and trust deepened throughout such a difficult time.

In this first quarter of 2021:

  • We hosted two virtual POD meetings with residents, with 23 residents attending (a POD is a group of UHW residents who live within two blocks or less of one another).
  • We distributed $250 to three PODs for February community-building activities.
  • Four of our residents attended a class hosted by our partner Hope Community to receive support in purchasing a duplex in the community.

We also paid out $125,000 to 70 different Minneapolis residents to help with overdue rent and utilities because of COVID-19 losses. Out of those individuals:

  • 50% were UHW residents
  • 25% were residents of Al Maa’uun housing (a partner organization we collaborated with)
  • 25% were undocumented families who did not qualify for government assistance earlier in the pandemic

We have begun training with 10 of our residents to better organize and leverage power within their community as we work together for equity and justice. The class was a part of the Virtual Housing Justice Forum hosted by Urban Homeworks in partnership with elected officials, community members, and partner organizations on May 20th over Zoom. Visit www.urbanhomeworks.org/hjf to see highlights from the forum.

We’re grateful to directly hear the stories and see the impacts YOUR SUPPORT has in our community, like:

  • The person who tears up every time she recounts how UHW helped her after the Drake fire left her and her five kids homeless;
  • The family who, upon receiving their rent support check, invited us in and shared stories from the whole family about how COVID impacted them;
  • And all the families who are grateful to have a safe home for their children to study and do school work thanks to the support you and our partner NAZ (Northside Achievement Zone) provide.

contact us

    • 1110 West Broadway Ave
      Minneapolis, MN 55411
    • Mon, Tue, Thu | 9 am-5 pm
      Wed | 10 am-5 pm
      Fri | 9 am-3 pm
  • General information 612-724-9002
  • Donation related information (only) 612-399-6165
  • Careers