Four years ago, four African-American-led organizations came together under the African American Leadership Forum’s (AALF) Economic Development Work Group’s Housing Committee. 

The organizations – Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC), Build Wealth Minnesota, Camphor Fiscally Fit Center and Model Cities of St. Paul, Inc. and others, explored equitable strategies to address growing socio-economic disparities in communities of color in Minnesota. The Housing Opportunities Made Equitable Collaborative - HOMECo - was formed and the group has hit the ground running.

To date, HOMECo has served more than 10,000 people representing more than 2,500 Households in the first three years of the coalition’s five year plan. It has raised and deployed more than $100 million in community and economic development activities with wrap-around services and affordable housing opportunities serving more than 500 families to date. HOMECo’s legislative efforts resulted in the HOME Bill being signed into Law by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2015. The law generated funding for 18 organizations statewide through HOMECo-influenced initiatives including the Targeted Mortgage Opportunity Program (TMOP) and Enhanced Homeownership Capacity (HOCAP) programs.

“It’s possible for us to cross the river and work together,” said David McGee of Build Wealth MN.

“Our collective impact extends across the seven-county metro area and has made home ownership a reality for several families, while placing several others on pathways to prosperity,” said Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation’s executive director, Nieeta Presley.

The collaborative will celebrate its achievements at the upcoming “Celebrating our Collective Impact” stakeholder breakfast, June 26 at 8 a.m. at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, 451 Lexington Pkwy. N. The event, hosted by AALF’s outgoing executive director, Jeff Hassan, will also feature an awards component honoring HOMECo supporters for their advocacy and leadership. Honorees include Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, MICAH’s Sue Watluv-Phillips, Sen. Jeff Hayden and Reps. Foung Hawj and Karen Clarke, as well as Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal. Assistant Housing Commissioner Kasey Kier will co-keynote with Nikki Foster of the Northwest Area Foundation.

For more information, call (612) 670-6355, or visit www.homecomn.org.

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