Riverside mortgage

by V. Paul

Replacing something old and borrowed with something new and borrowed leaves more than 200 Riverside households far from blue about their housing conditions.
The Minneapolis City Council will consider a resolution next week leading to home ownership and rehabilitation for low- to middle-income families in the West Bank community.
The Minneapolis Community Development Agency, the city’s economic and housing development arm, authored a resolution that combines five existing Riverside housing projects under the newly formed Riverside Homes Limited Partnership.
“It preserves affordability of the rental units, it consolidates them under a single entity and it frees up some of the homes for homeownership opportunities,” said Patricia Kelly, aide to council member Joan Campbell who represents the Riverside community.
With the move, the city will issue about $8.2 million in revenue bonds to buy out the previous mortgage obligations of the five projects and create a single, new mortgage plan for the 224 rental units.
The move also generates about $10,000 per home for exterior rehabilitation and interior renovations to 192 rental units.
Families whose household incomes fall at or below 60 percent of the community’s median income will be able to participate. The money will be used to landscape, paint walls, and replace carpets and kitchen countertops to improve their homes said Tim Mungaven, executive director of the West Bank Community Development Corporation. The corporation will become the new partnership overseeing the five projects.
The move also brings the community together, creating a single association to represent the residents and formulate community plans, said Dollie Crowthers of the Minneapolis development agency.
“It kind of forms some unity in the neighborhood,” she said. “We have a strong tenant community there.”
The remaining 32 units will be converted into homes for ownership purposes, not just rental. About $1.5 million of debt on those homes will be forgiven under the proposed resolution, making it easier for potential homeowners to obtain a first mortgage from a lending institution. Current residents of the five projects have priority consideration for the purchase of these homes.
Typically, residents whose household incomes rise above 60 percent of the neighborhood median would be asked to leave the low-income housing area. Under the new deal, those residents could buy one of the 32 homes and stay in the neighborhood.
“This is an attempt to try to make sure that people can live their life in Riverside without being pushed out because their income goes up,” Mungaven said.