Why Our Work Matters
We envision a time when all people have the opportunity to live and prosper in a community of their choice. The region is stronger when residents have access to possibilities and can choose to live in communities that offer opportunity for engagement, success, growth, and quality of life. Because opportunities need real estate and places to launch from, Land Bank Twin Cities captures strategic real estate to enable these possibilities.
Research shows us that deep disparities exist in fundamental measures of health and opportunity; the challenges are real. In 2014, the statewide poverty rate for children ages 0-4 was 17%. Communities of color are also disproportionately burdened by poverty (26% versus 12% overall). People of Color make up the fastest growing segment of our population and are more likely to live in poverty, less likely to graduate from high school, less likely to own their own home, and are more likely to suffer from chronic illness. Statewide, those who are least able to control their economic well-being – children – are also more likely than any other age group to live in poverty.
Stable housing improves a child’s chance for school success. A vibrant economy depends on a workforce that has stable, affordable housing. Housing is an essential part of life for all residents, from immigrants to youth to older adults. Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Central, and Northland regions have the highest share of households paying “too much” for housing (30% or more of households). Rents in the Twin Cities continue to climb steadily, averaging $1,055 during most of 2015. Vacancy rates dropped to a 5-year low of 2.3% in Q4 of 2015, with units renting for $1,000 or less hitting a record low vacancy rate of $1.7%. Median Home Sale Prices have risen to a 6-month average of $221,190 in the Twin Cities.
We partner with those working to implement thoughtful, responsive, and forward-thinking solutions to meet the complex needs of these issues. Real estate is key to these solutions. Through our brokering, land banking, and lending, Land Bank Twin Cities is strategically capturing, holding, and financing land acquisition and development with and for our partners so that all people in the seven-county metropolitan region of the Twin Cities have the opportunity to live and prosper in a community of their choice.
Resources: “Disparities Overview” (5/3/2016), www. mncompass.org; “2×4 Report” (March 2016), Minnesota Housing Partnership, www.mhponline.org; “Community Choice Program” (5/3/2016), Metropolitan Council, www.metrocouncil.org.
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