An article this week in Finance & Commerce highlights PRG’s work in north Minneapolis. It’s a good summary of the ways that community developers like PRG (funded, in this case, by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program through the City of Minneapolis) are helping neighborhoods recover from foreclosures:
- We shore up home values by increasing demand and improving the housing stock.
- Neighborhood pride increases when vacant homes are fixed up. Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson remarks, “New neighbors are moving into homes that were once shuttered and in poor condition and are now the gems on the block.”
- We’re here for the community. The article quotes PRG Executive Director Kathy Wetzel-Mastel: “Values have dropped so much that it’s hard to do a really good job in renovating a property. It’s costing more to acquire and rehab these houses than they’ll sell for, at least in this market.” When investors or speculators buy homes at these prices (often without even knowing the extent of the repairs that may be required), they can be hard pressed to keep the homes in good condition and stay afloat. That’s one reason the presence of experienced, community-focused organizations like PRG is so important right now.