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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.

Quicksilvers

Weekly on-site construction   

The Quicksilver Crew is a group of mostly retired professionals who volunteer anywhere from a ½ day to 2 full days each week. Quicksilvers do everything from rough framing to putting the finishing touches on a home. 

Quicks meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Interested in joining? Please fill out the volunteer application here.

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
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

Development Manager
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

    • Claudia Oxley, Co-Chair | Retired
    • 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
    • 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 

"What we are trying to do is not just build some housing but to build a community of people that call a place home that cannot just live there but also have some control and say over their own space."

Chad Schwitters | Executive Director

updates

A collective sigh of relief…

Yesterday, many of us experienced a collective sigh of relief. An exhale after a long-held breath. We breathed. The collective breath was deep, knowing the work is far from over as we bury 20-year-old Daunte Wright and mourn the loss of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

But strength and resiliency are not lacking in our communities. Continually, we experience and witness neighbors in North and South Minneapolis show up for each other, hold each other, and acknowledge the pain and trauma these moments inflict on all of us – whether conscious of it or not.

At Urban Homeworks, we ask ourselves what it means to neighbor in times like these. Neighbor is one of our longstanding Core Values. To us, to neighbor means humbly accepting that there is ongoing work to be done on oneself and a conscientious effort to do that work. Another Core Value that guides us is Step Up, which is seeing the need and taking action. We apply our Core Values internally and to the way we landlord our rental units, develop housing and people and steward the communities that have trusted us to provide dignified, affordable housing for 26 years. As paired with our mission and vision, our values drive us to work on dignified, affordable housing while standing against all forms of racism and other oppressions that our communities face daily. We must speak out. It is our duty to stand in solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed just as Jesus did when he walked this earth.

Jesus did not look away, nor did he minimize the voice or struggles of the oppressed. He acted in solidarity, as he confronted any notions of profit over people. As he developed close relationships with those the dominating society had rejected and demeaned, he modeled loving activism; he modeled Step Up, and he modeled Neighbor. He did so until the dominating culture deemed him such a threat to their way of life, to their systems of greed and oppression, that they killed him, and justified his murder for public consumption. The actions Jesus chose show us that he not only valued life of the soul, but valued the life of the body, as well. Jesus showed us with his life that the pursuit of justice is an act of care and love for the entire human being.

Do not look away as your neighbors mourn, as your neighbors grow disheartened knowing that while Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter – police across this nation murdered 64 people since testimony began on March 29th. (See NY Times article for reference.)

Do not look away or cast blame, but rather Step Up and Neighbor with us. We cannot turn our backs when those paid to protect and serve us, only protect and serve some while senselessly murdering or assaulting others. At Urban Homeworks, we believe Jesus would not look away, turn his back, or throw shame or blame on those being oppressed. We are guided by the model of activism that Jesus demonstrated in the Bible as we stand with our neighbors and fight for their collective voices to address injustice.

At Urban Homeworks, we feel the relief of the verdict and the weight of all the work still needing to be done. We are so grateful for this incredibly resilient and compassionate community. Thank you to all those who reached out directly with words of support and with supplies and cash donations when we put the call out in preparation for the conclusion of the Chauvin trial.

Tomorrow afternoon, less than one block from Urban Homeworks, the family of Daunte Wright will mourn the young person they lost. In partnership with Brother’s Empowered, Appetite for Change, Raising Cane, and Restoration Incorporated, we will be there providing sustenance and support. We invite our larger community to volunteer and join us in this effort to hold sacred space. If you wish to help set up or distribute food, please contact Marque Jensen, our Equity and Engagement Manager, at 612.208.8104.

In gratitude for the Urban Homeworks Community, and in solidarity with all those fighting for systemic justice,

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AsaleSol Young,

Executive Director

Urban Homeworks

We’re hiring!

Urban Homeworks is seeking an upbeat, dynamic, highly organized, detail oriented, eloquent and persuasive individual for grant writing and project management at an exceptionally busy, growing community development organization.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for supporting the Development Department in the research, preparation and submission of all proposals and grant applications.
  • Maintain an organized system for tracking ongoing and upcoming grant projects and prospects.
  • Collaborate with program staff to develop project budgets and identify specific objectives and workplans for potential grant-funded projects.
  • Responsible for writing proposals for both unrestricted operating revenue and restricted projects and in submitting timely and accurate reports for all existing grant funded programs/projects.
  • Conduct prospect research for all grants and preparing written profiles of funders.
  • Manage grants budget, calendar, and strategy in partnership with Development Director.
  • Write clear, persuasive, concise grant proposals and meet deadlines for a robust grant schedule.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Assemble grant requests, including letters, proposals, budgets and presentations
  • Establish and maintain current information, contact and relationships with foundation representatives and program officers
  • Maintain grant calendar to ensure timely submission of letters of inquiry, proposal deadlines and reports (other reporting and management documents as required)
  • Work with Development Director to conduct prospect research – and prepare prospect reports
  • Prioritize projects to keep multiple projects moving in a timely manner, meet deadlines and manage supplemental material required for proposals
  • Work with programs and Development Department to provide current program data, statistics and local statistics for grant content
  • Research data for populations served including needs, trends and other resources in the area
  • Maintain and provide timely reporting data for all grants (progress reports, year-end, financial reporting, data collection from programs and special reports as required)
  • Proofread funding documents
  • Work with Development Director and team to conduct all the duties for grants submissions and maintenance

Qualifications:

  • Committed resolve for the Urban Homeworks mission and values for the communities in which Urban Homeworks is implementing its community development strategies
  • Ability to articulate and support the mission of Urban Homeworks and its programs
  • BA/BS in Non-profit, Communication, related field OR 3-5 years of relevant grant writing experience
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communications skills
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite, Raiser’s Edge, and Excel
  • Ability to meet multiple, concurrent deadlines under pressure
  • Ability to accept and mange fluctuating priorities with a positive and energetic attitude
  • Willing to work some flexible hours, including some weekends and evenings
  • Ability to effectively present Urban Homeworks’ program information and respond to questions from funders and potential donors
  • Enjoy working in a service-oriented, collaborative team environment

 

Click HERE to apply!

contact us

    • 2015 Emerson Ave N
      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