First 'HOPE' home under construction in Golden Valley

On an unusually hot October afternoon, crews are hard at work building Golden Valley's newest residence.

But this isn't your typical home. It's the first-ever developed under HOPE, or Home Ownership Program for Equity, an initiative spearheaded by City Council.

"They [City Council] prioritized making city-owned vacant lots available for affordable housing providing a land write down or providing the properties to non-profit developers," said Housing and Economic Development Manager Cherie Shoquist.

The city sold the lot off Douglas Drive to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for $1, and their volunteers are building the home, making it more affordable for families making 80 percent or 60 percent of AMI (Area Median Income).

"A part of Twin Cities Habitat's mission and vision is to make sure that we are getting into those gaps and really trying to repair the harm that's been happening decades over decades," said Laura Miller, Director Of Equity And Inclusion at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

Another goal of the program is to reduce racial disparity in homeownership and that starts with the land's deed.

"What's most important about this property in particular we've been able to identify that this did have a racial covenant within its deed," said Miller.

Outlawed in the late 1960s, racial covenants prevented people of color from buying property. As a part of the process, it was essential for Twin Cities' Habitat for Humanity to invalidate the covenant of the past to create a more equitable future.

"We want to ensure that communities of color and those who have been historically barred from possibly own this home now have the opportunity to do so," said Miller.

Construction on the home should be complete by spring. The city of Golden Valley has identified 15 additional vacant lots that could have HOPE homes built on them one day.