First Ever ‘HOPE’ Home Under Construction in Golden Valley
In this day and age, it is hard for families to find affordable housing. In Golden Valley, the HOPE initiative is designed to ease that burden.
HOPE stands for Home Ownership Program for Equity. It makes city-owned vacant property available for low-income housing developments. The first home built within that partnership is well underway on 1605 Douglas Drive N.
Golden Valley sold the city-owned Douglas Drive lot to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for $1.
Building a community together
This property in particular is made possible by a partnership with Habitat. City officials say it’s a long time coming.
Deputy City Manager Kirsten Santelices said the city has talked about ways to diversify and desegregate for years.
“To be part of this work undoing that legal segregation that has existed for so long is really great,” Santelices said.
City staff played a major role in making HOPE possible from behind the desk. This week, they are volunteering to help build the house.
“This is the fun part, where you actually see what you talked about in concept. Now it’s going into reality,” said Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris.
Harris and his fellow city colleagues said they were eager to help. Each volunteer put their own skills to work.
“Today, I am on painting duty!” Santelices said.
Diversifying a neighborhood
Tony Beckstrom, a project supervisor for Habitat for Humanity, said while habitat’s reach spans seven counties, most of the time it stays in the urban areas.
“Eighty percent of our projects are in the inner cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Beckstrom said.
This partnership is the first of its kind in Golden Valley.
“It’s exciting to see us be able to help folks at a larger scale,” Beckstrom said.
Harris echoed the sentiment.
“Whatever it takes, because we really want to do the best we can to make this community welcoming for everybody,” Harris said.
All the noise is an act of creating something new with an impact that could last for generations to come.
“It is fun to be a part of that, because its going to last and go on and on and on long after we are gone,” Beckstrom said.
The house on Douglas should be ready for move-in by spring. Beckstrom said a family hasn’t been selected yet, but selection should happen soon. The home is designed to be wheelchair accessible.
More information about the HOPE initiative and future projects, as well as homeowner qualifications, can be found online.
Habitat for Humanity is always seeking volunteers to get those projects done. More information on how you can get involved is also available online.