Mayor Carter this week announced Downpayment and Homeowner Rehab assistance applications now include eligibility for Inheritance Fund assistance. The announcement marks a critical inflection point of a signature initiative in the Carter Administration.
“We are proud and excited to be leading an effort to rebuild the generational wealth lost by families of Old Rondo who were displaced in order to build I-94,” said Carter. “We’ve heard public apologies for decades; now we’re taking action to help restore what was suddenly stripped away.”
By the early 1930s, the Rondo neighborhood was the beating heart of Saint Paul’s African American community and home to thriving businesses, religious organizations, and social clubs.
Two decades later, the economic and social diversity of the area was upended when the construction of Interstate 94 began in 1956. The 12-year highway corridor construction project decimated the footprint of the Rondo neighborhood, displaced over 600 families, and laid to waste over $100 million in generational wealth.
During his 2023 budget address, Carter shared his vision for rebuilding generational wealth that was lost due to the highway construction and returning to the sons and daughters of Old Rondo their inheritance of homeownership.
The Inheritance Fund is designed for direct descendants of families who were displaced from Saint Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood due to the construction of Interstate 94. Eligible descendants can rebuild generational and community wealth through homeownership with up to $110,000 in forgivable loans for down payments and up to $80,000 for repairs.
"We have already received dozens of calls and emails from interested applicants,” said Saint Paul Housing Director Tara Beard. “We ask for everyone’s patience as we engage in this exciting, historic work.”
The Inheritance Fund eligibility application is embedded within the city’s Downpayment Assistance and Homeowner Rehab programs, both led by the Department of Planning and Economic Development.
- Through the Downpayment Assistance Program, the Inheritance Fund offers qualifying descendants up to $100,000 in financial assistance to purchase a home anywhere in the Saint Paul. An additional $10,000 may be available to residents who choose to reinvest in the historic Rondo community and purchase a home within its boundaries. The Inheritance Fund layers of assistance are available to qualifying Rondo descendants earning up to 100% AMI.
- Through the Homeowner Rehab Program, the Inheritance Fund offers qualifying descendants up to $55,000 in no-interest deferred loans for non-emergency home improvements. An additional $25,000 may be available to residents who own a home within the boundaries of historic Rondo. Households earning up to 80% AMI are eligible for this program.
Those interested in the Inheritance Fund can complete either the Downpayment Assistance Program intake form (for the purchase of a new home) or the Homeowner Rehab Program intake form (for repairs to a current home). Once the initial information is reviewed, eligible applicants will be placed on a waitlist and will receive the full Inheritance Fund application packet in the mail on a first-come, first-served basis as staffing and funding allows.
This innovative and people-centered initiative was initially proposed by Mayor Carter in his 2023 Budget Address. For the most up-to-date information, visit stpaul.gov/inheritance-fund.
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