Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity broke ground last week on 11 homes on once-polluted industrial land in St. Paul’s North End neighborhood that will house working-class families.
They will pay up to 30% of their household income monthly on long-term mortgages.
The $2.5 million project, which took two years to develop including pollution remediation of what was once an unregulated dump, is Habitat’s biggest core-city project this year.
Twin Cities Habitat, benefiting from an expanding subsidized mortgage program with Bremer Bank and other efforts to raise capital, expects to help more than 100 families get into a new or refurbished home this year.
Habitat has nearly doubled its annual housing production over the last several years, thanks largely to the multiyear partnership with Bremer, valued at nearly $100 million.
The 11 St. Paul single-family homes near Willow Reserve benefited from $700,000 from federal and local governments to clean up the formerly polluted site.
Ecolab provided $250,000 to construct a public alley, stormwater retention pond and sewer and water connections.
Habitat said 90% of Habitat home buyers are minority families, which helps to close the racial gap in homeownership.
The primary sponsors for the first four homes are Ecolab, Thrivent Financial, Wells Fargo and Women Build.
Dozens of volunteers, as well as the prospective owners, will work on the project.