Minneapolis touts housing program

As states' attorneys general discuss a proposed settlement with five banks over their foreclosure practices, Minneapolis is touting its foreclosure recovery strategy.

The city today says its Minneapolis Advantage Program has helped nearly 350 homebuyers purchase homes in neighborhoods stressed by foreclosure since 2008.

The forgivable loan program assists homebuyers with down payment and closing costs. Officials say the city's investment of $1.2 million in the program has leveraged an additional $3.2 million from Wells Fargo, Minnesota Housing, Federal Home Loan Bank Des Moines and through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

"This financial assistance enables a buyer to purchase a house, and that helps to rebuild the neighborhoods," said council member Elizabeth Glidden, who represents Ward 8.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is Member supported public media. Show your support today, donate, and ensure access to local news and in-depth conversations for everyone.

Stats on the Minneapolis Advantage Program:

• All homes had to be foreclosed, vacant, or in a high foreclosure-impacted neighborhood.

• Loan recipients purchased homes in 30 Minneapolis neighborhoods.

• Nearly 350 homes have been purchased.

• Nearly 60% of the home buyers moved to Minneapolis from elsewhere.

• 89% of the recipients are first time home buyers.

• 48% of the home buyers are between the ages of 31-50.

• Average household size is two.

• 49% of the homes' purchase prices are less than $100,000; 39% of purchase prices are between $100,000-$150,000.

More funds are available in 2012. Approximately $400,000, or around 25 loans, is available to help potential buyers purchase a foreclosed home in eligible neighborhoods. Based on income eligibility requirements, buyers within 80% of the area median income (approximately $64,000 for a four-member household) can receive up to $20,000 and buyers within 120% of the area median income (approximately $100,700 for a four-member household) can receive up to $10,000. These funds can be used to pay for closing costs and down payment assistance.

For more information, call the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, program administrator, at (612) 588-3033.