More Than A Place to Live

PPL's housing programs create homes for ownership, including this home in Minneapolis.

PPL’s housing programs create homes for ownership, including this home in Minneapolis.

PPL’s Housing Programs Help Participants Build Assets for Long Term Success

“I was mad at the world, I’d lost my home.”

Maurice remembers the pain of losing his home. Months after buying a home in 2007, he lost his job. Soon after, he lost the home as well. Owning a home was an important milestone for Maurice and his family, one he was eager to reach again.

“One thing we never had growing up was our own home. We moved around a lot. I even went to five schools one year,” Maurice remembers. “I want my kids to have a house to grow up in, to be able to point to a house and say, ‘That’s where I grew up.’”

For over forty years, PPL has developed housing with one core belief in mind: no physical asset is more foundational to success than having a stable place to live. PPL has developed over 2,000 units of housing in its history as a means to self-reliance. Recent programs are helping people like Maurice find and purchase a home of their own.

PPL is closing the housing gap by creating opportunities for ownership in three ways: homeownership counseling, renovation and repairs to existing properties, and new construction. Each of these helps families build assets they can leverage for the long haul and improve the neighborhoods in which they live.

Homeownership Counseling

PPL financial coaches helped Maurice (right) purchase his new home.

PPL financial coaches helped Maurice (right) purchase his new home.

PPL’s Home Ready Financial Coaching program, funded by the State of Minnesota, helps participants clean up their credit and create budgets in preparation for purchasing a new home. PPL staff have worked with 55 households so far, leading to 25 homes purchased, including the one Maurice just bought.

“If I ever wanted to have a shot at having a home for my family again, I needed to do this,” Maurice recalls, “I followed the coach step by step, and my credit score started going higher and higher.”

Maurice’s efforts helped his family get approved for a mortgage. They closed on their new home and moved in a few weeks ago.

“It was pure joy when all the papers were signed,” Maurice said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without PPL.”

New Construction

PPL’s single-family home construction using environmentally-friendly standards continues in the award-winning Hawthorne EcoVillage. Similar home construction is underway at sites in Minneapolis, through the City’s Green Homes North program, and in St. Paul, through their Inspiring Communities initiative. In all, 16 new PPL-developed single-family houses have been built since 2012. These new homes not only create great opportunity for new owners, they also build the neighborhood housing market, making these communities stronger and safer as a result.

Renovation & Repair

Marjorie purchased this house with the help of a PPL financial coach.

Marjorie purchased this house with the help of a PPL financial coach.

PPL is giving foreclosed properties in north Minneapolis new life through the Northside Home program, in partnership with Urban Homeworks and with support from the Pohlad Foundation, the Twin Cities Community Land Bank, Wells Fargo, Minnesota Housing, and the City of Minneapolis. The houses are renovated and offered for sale or through an innovative lease-to-purchase program. Currently 22 properties are in the process of renovation, and four have been sold, including the home Marjorie bought.

Working with a PPL financial coach for over a year, Marjorie set out to own her own home. She created a tight budget where she could save money while paying off debts incurred during a period where she was hurt in a car accident and unable to work. Her kids joined her efforts.

“My kids stopped taking allowance or asking for birthday gifts,” Marjorie said. “They told me ‘Mom, we’re saving for a house too. Keep your money.’”

Months after moving into her new home, her excitement is still easy to see.

“I’m thrilled to be here, raise my kids here, and share this with my grandkids one day.”

Along with renovating homes to sell, PPL has helped owners make needed home repairs that would have otherwise forced them into foreclosure. Several PPL repair programs, funded by city, state, federal, and private dollars, have invested $1.5 million into nearly 100 households since 2012.

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