Community Dividend

Minnesota launches minority homeownership initiative

Published November 1, 2004  | November 2004 issue

In late June, the State of Minnesota announced a new initiative to promote parity in homeownership rates. The goal of the Minnesota Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative (EMHI) is to close the large homeownership gap between Minnesota's general population and the state's minority groups. Currently, Minnesota's overall homeownership rate is nearly 80 percent, while the homeownership rate for African Americans, Hispanics and other minority groups is only 41 percent. According to its organizers, the EMHI will help more minority families experience the benefits associated with homeownership, such as wealth building and neighborhood stability.

The EMHI was convened by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Fifty additional organizations, including financial institutions, Realtors' associations and community development groups, will participate in advisory committees related to the EMHI. The June announcement marked the start of the initiative's first phase, which involves drafting a business plan that will identify strategies for addressing the homeownership disparity. The plan will be submitted to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in March 2005.