Celebrating 100 Homes

In November 2018, PRG completed the 100th home since 2010! Why do we do this work? Because this house had been vacant and boarded since 2012. Because it will be home for a family of ten coming out our partnership with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. Because there are 13,000+ households on the waiting list for public housing in Minneapolis. Because homeownership is key to building intergenerational assets. Because MN has the 2nd worst in the nation racial homeownership gap. Because all but three of those 100 construction contracts have gone to contractors of color or women operated companies.

Watch the progress video by clicking on the photo below to see the evolution of the beautiful home with help from our friends at D & J Steele Construction.


As we wind down the year and reflect on an incredible 2018, we are so grateful for everything we have achieved together.  It’s hard to believe how many positive changes have been made this year.  From adding 3 new staff to our team, to powerful advocacy with Make Homes Happen, 2018 was a year of raising our collective voices to build stronger communities.

Last year, through a viral video highlighting a Somali family’s journey from public housing to buying a home with PRG, we connected with hundreds of households from the Somali community.  As a result, Nimo joined our staff to help strengthen our engagement with our East African community members.

In May, we said goodbye to our long-time homeownership services manager Mindy who relocated to Michigan and said hello to Portia Jackson as she moved into that role.  We are so excited for the expertise and lived experience Portia has brought to the work—a northside resident who has gone through the PRG advising and homebuying process–as well as worked in housing services across the metro to support other homeowners of color close the gap and build generational wealth.

Advancing our work in support of helping all people and neighborhoods to thrive, we added Luis to the team in October.  His experience in finance and passion for working with the Latino community is an incredible addition to PRG, and we are now a tri-lingual organization.

Our ongoing partnership with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority continues to create opportunities for families to move along the housing continuum.  The Moving On program supports higher-income public housing tenants working with our homeownership services staff to transition from public housing to homeownership.

We are so happy for Karmalita, a mother of 3, who bought her first home through Moving On in 2018.  She recently shared her gratitude in working with Erin, her homeownership services advisor.

“Besides all the help with building my income and credit, I could feel Erin was rooting for me. She wanted this for me, and it was like she was right there to make up for whatever confidence I was lacking about owning a home. PRG’s entire team has made this whole process so easy and simple for me. Owning a home now for me and my kids gives us a few more responsibilities, but it also gives us that space and privacy that we always wanted thanks to PRG.”

PRG staff continued working with Make Homes Happen, an affordable housing advocacy group comprised of people working in wide array of housing-related non-profits across Minneapolis.  These efforts led to Mayor Frey and the city council passing a $40 million allotment for affordable housing production, preservation, and protection in their $1.5 billion 2019 budget.  The group worked closely with community members and the city to develop and finalize this historic work.

With all of PRG’s progress, growth, and change, our executive director described 2018 in one word, “evolution.”

“I’m super excited about our work with twenty-three Minneapolis Public Housing families to help them achieve their goal of homeownership.  There is such a clear triple bottom line to this work:  narrowing the racial homeownership gap; creating opportunities for intergenerational wealth creation, and; freeing-up scarce public housing units,” Kathy shared in reflecting on PRG’s accomplishments this year.

“Three new staff members over the course of year is a lot of change for a small organization and successful onboarding is time intensive and so necessary because how we do what we do is just as important as what we do.  It has also been really rewarding to see our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion produce meaningful impact.  With a board and staff that are now 50% people of color, we have connections to new communities; a rich diversity of lived experiences; and services in English, Spanish and Somali. How cool is that?”

Kathy is approaching her 10th year as executive director at PRG, and much of the evolution we have seen is a result of her leadership.  With a strong team in place we are looking ahead to the future with optimism and hope.

“I envision PRG continuing to make real change in people’s lives by leveraging the lived experience of our staff, board, and clients to use our capacity and resources in the most effective way possible,” Kathy shared.

Onward to 2019.  From all of us at PRG, thank you.  Happy New Year!

Give to the Max Day proves to be a great opportunity for PRG to share homeowner stories, engage with our supporters, and raise funds to carry out the work.  In 2018, we broke our Give to the Max Day record.  We are so humbled and grateful for all of our individual donors, foundation partners, board members, volunteers, and community supporters.  We could not do this important work without you.

100 Homes, 100 Households

PRG just completed the 100th home since 2010!  Why do we do this work? Because this house had been vacant and boarded since 2012.  Because it will be home for a family of ten coming out our partnership with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.  Because there are 13,000+ households on the waiting list for public housing in Minneapolis.  Because homeownership is key to building intergenerational assets.  Because MN has the 2nd worst in the nation racial homeownership gap.  Because all but three of those 100 construction contracts have gone to contractors of color or women operated companies.

Watch the 100th Home Video here

Give to the Max!


Give to the Max Day 2018 is just around the corner on November 15.  Last year we broke our individual fundraising record and, as a result, we were able to expand our outreach across communities of color in the Twin Cities, and build relationships with the Somali community.  We were also able to hire a Somali speaking homeownership advisor.  None of this would be possible without the generous support of individuals like you.  This year we are confident we can make even more progress in our important work.

A donation to PRG can:

  • Help renovate a vacant house into a beautiful home for families of color.  In 2017 PRG sold 11 homes with all but one purchased by households of color with an average income of 65% AMI.
  • Help our advisors hold 18 first-time homebuyer education workshops.  Last year we provided pre-purchase education to 458 households and one-on-one advising to 305 households.
  • Provide free, one-on-one, foreclosure prevention assistance to families.  Of the foreclosure cases resolved in 2017, 83% avoided foreclosure.

In the coming weeks will be sharing homeowner stories and videos, and more details on Give to the Max Day 2018 on our website and social media.

Keondre and Michael’s Story

Michael grew up in North Minneapolis and has worked at The Cookie Cart for years. Now, with the help of PRG, he and his father Keondre are proud homeowners in their community.  Their story is such a powerful example of PRG’s mission in action.  We work with community to create opportunity, strengthen neighborhood connection, and build generational wealth.  It’s wonderful to see inspiring community members like Keondre and Michael owning a home and building a foundation in their North Minneapolis neighborhood.  

Multiplying Our Impact

The DJ Steele Construction office feels like a family member’s home.  The exterior of the South Minneapolis business blends into the other neighborhood homes.  As I walked in I was greeted by the warmth of two smiling faces, both asking, “Are you here for Don Jr. or Don Sr.?”  Don senior was taking a lunch break catching up on a Jamaican soap opera, reminiscing about the country his family immigrated from in 1981.









Don Sr. standing proudly in the office of DJ Steele Construction

“My father was a contractor.  I worked for his company and learned carpentry skills.  Then I went on to trade school in Jamaica,” Don Sr. shared.  Ten years after coming to America he started DJ Steele Construction, and has built a company with his wife and sons that has lasted through tough times.

Don said he could have worked for bigger construction companies, but he wanted to start something of his own, with his family.  But between lack of access to capital and a constantly changing economy the road to success hasn’t been easy.  Like many families of color, securing financial resources, whether for a business or a home, can be met with barriers.  “We were limited in the loans we could access.  We could only get $10,000 when we needed $50,000, so we had to use our own cash to pay for projects.  All we needed was a fair chance,” Joyce Steel said about building the company early on.








Joyce Steele showing Don who’s boss

During the Great Recession DJ Steele Construction, like many businesses, faced the decision to cross their fingers and keep grinding or to shut down.  Nobody was building and cash stopped flowing, but PRG found opportunity where there was blight.  “I give credit to our business staying alive during the recession to PRG.  It was scary.  We made just enough to pay bills, “said Don.

PRG is driven to narrow the homeownership gap and address racial disparities by working at the invitation of neighborhoods to rehabilitate vacant houses into beautiful homes to live in, and partnering with minority owned businesses for construction contracts.  “PRG made a big difference on the North Side since back in the 90’s when nobody was doing anything.  I was right there with PRG doing neighborhood revitalization,” Don shared about his long-lasting relationship with PRG.

For too long our communities have faced racial disparities that divide and displace individuals, families and neighborhoods.  There is no silver bullet solution to these problems, but we can take small steps to chip away at these issues and support each other along the way.  PRG is proud to share strong outcomes in our collaborative equity work in 2017 including:

  • Acquired 5 lender- or city-owned, single-family homes for renovation and resale to low-and moderate-income households, bringing our 8-year total to 83.
  • Acquired 4 city-owned vacant lots for new construction, bringing our total Green Homes North and infill partnership with Phillips in south to 17 new homes.
  • 77% of single-family construction contracts awarded in 2017 went to minority-owned business and 22% went to women-owned businesses. Over the past 8 years, PRG has awarded over $12 million in single family construction contracts with 98% going to small, minority or women owned businesses.
  • Sold 11 homes, all but one purchased by households of color, and bringing the 8-year total to 92. Of these, 82% of buyers had incomes under 80 % AMI.
  • Provided 88 households with high quality rental housing affordable at 50% AMI.








Don Jr., Joyce, and Don Sr.

Don said he’s always believed strongly in housing as an essential human right, and in the need for quality, affordable housing.  “I take pride in owning a home and building homes for others.  A home guarantees assets and a future for your kids.  In Jamaica we say your home is your castle.”

Here’s to DJ Steele Construction giving an opportunity for all families to have their own castle.

American Dream: Abdul’s Story

Abdul, his wife Asli and their 6 wonderful children worked with PRG to move from Minneapolis Public Housing to purchase their first home in September 2016. Abdul’s family is an amazing example of how PRG supports individuals and families in their homeownership goals, and works at the invitation of neighborhoods to build strong communities.
“We believe in America for dreams. We have big dreams like this house now,” Abdul sharing his family’s story.

Give to the Max Day is Nov. 16, 2017

Save the Date: Nov. 16!In 2016, PRG raised more in individual donations than in any other year. This year the need for affordable, equitable housing is still strong, and we want to exceed that amazing result.

We’ll need your help to do it. Here’s what you can do:

  • Plan on giving on Thursday, Nov. 16 or schedule your gift
  • A gift in any amount helps (we can even win “Golden Tickets” through random drawings)
  • Tell your friends and family how they can help
  • Use the hashtag #GTMD17 on social media

Stay tuned for more updates.

Maintaining Your First Home

You’ve become a homeowner….now what?

PRG wants to help you be a successful homeowner. That’s why we hosted our first-ever Home Maintenance workshop this summer.

Attended by over 20 households, this workshop featured information and tips from Project Manager Kevin Gulden about home maintenance and upkeep.  Held at one of our recently-completed homes in north Minneapolis, the 90-minute workshop was specially designed for first-time homebuyers. The presentation included information on winterizing, knowing where to find shut-off valves, changing furnace filters, and exterior maintenance.

Wish you could have been on the tour? Check oubanistert PRG’s monthly Home Tips blog: HomeTips


MN Homeownership Center Celebrates PRG

“We’re saying thank you to one of the longest-running homeownership programs in the city of Minneapolis and one of the original members of the Homeownership Advisors Network: PRG, Inc.”


June is Homeownership Month! In recognition of that, the Minnesota Homeownership Center has highlighted a few partners including PRG. Erin and Mindy, two of our fabulous homeownership advisors, are interviewed in this great piece:

Homeownership Advisor Network Highlight: PRG, Inc.

Great job, Erin and Mindy! And thank you, MN HOC!

The need for public initiative

A recent opinion piece in the Star Tribune (“Counterpoint: Public initiative, not private incentives, are need to improve north Minneapolis,” May 26, 2017) highlights the need for public initiative to level the playing field in Minneapolis.

North Minneapolis, in addition to enduring structural racism since the 1930s, has suffered through the predatory lending practices of the early 2000s and the devastating tornado in 2011. Disinvestment has compounded these issues for this community.

PRG work siteNeeraj Mehta, director of community programs at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota, cites PRG as an example of what can be done with city subsidies. Our James Avenue Cluster project is an example of strategic development that we believe has lasting impact.

Mehta states: “PRG’s infill development strategy achieved numerous racial-, social-, and economic-justice outcomes.”

National Conference Visits Spirit on Lake

PRG’s multi-family housing development, Spirit on Lake, was the final stop on a tour of affordable housing developments during National Housing Conference’s “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” held in Minneapolis in late April. The conference is held annually and connects housing communications professionals, affordable housing developers, and advocates from across the country.

Tour group at Spirit on Lake

During the tour, PRG’s Executive Director Kathy Wetzel-Mastel spoke to the NHC group about the challenges and rewards developing Spirit on Lake, the first in the nation to serve the aging LGBTQ community. The affordable housing facility was completed in 2015 and is fully leased up. Located on Lake Street in Minneapolis, the property is also home to a growing immigrant community.

Quatrefoil Library at Spirit on Lake

Tour-goers also got a peek at the ground floor space belonging to Quatrefoil Library which collects and circulates gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials and information.


Proposed budget cuts to HUD affect PRG, everyone

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, President Trump released his proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year. In addition to cuts that broadly impact social services, the arts, environment, agriculture, and education, the budget also includes a $6.2 billion cut to HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).

This proposed budget will have deep and lasting impacts on neighborhoods and families throughout the country. It would eliminate a variety of vital HUD programs including two that directly affect PRG’s work. The HOME Investment Partnerships Program supports our affordable housing development, and Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing provides much-needed operating support for our housing programs.

As is often the case, these program cuts will disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities. PRG, a recipient of HUD funding, has always worked to improve neighborhoods and communities on the local level.

Last year, PRG:

  • Provided free foreclosure prevention counseling to 50 families, helping 73% of these avoid foreclosure
  • Prepared 360 households for first-time homeownership with homebuyer education workshops
  • Awarded 88% of our construction contracts to minority-owned businesses, impacting the local economy
  • Sold 90% of PRG-developed homes to households of color

To continue doing this important work, we need your help to spread the word about the importance of protecting critical resources for affordable housing.

What you can do:

  • Contact your elected representatives. Call or send postcards. Find contact information for:
  • Donate to PRG. From $5 to $500, your tax-deductible gift in any amount helps.
  • Share your PRG story. Tell us how PRG has impacted you, your neighborhood, or your community.
    • What did you learn at HomeStretch?
    • Do you live in a PRG-developed home? Can you share a picture of your house?
    • Has Mindy or Thandisizwe or Erin helped you on your journey?
  • Let your voice be heard.

Thanks to everyone who Gave to the Max!

Between the election and the unseasonably warm temperatures, November 2016 has been an interesting month. Despite (or perhaps because of) high emotions, people throughout Minnesota reached into their pockets and donated to nonprofits and schools during Give to the Max Day on November 17th.

Although the website for crashed for a few hours (due to the overwhelming generosity of our state), PRG was still able to raise $6,080 and access a matching grant from the Kopp Family Foundation.

We still need to raise an additional $3,407 to reach our fundraising goal of $10,000 in individual donations for 2016—our 40th anniversary year. Making a gift is easy, fast, secure, and tax-deductible. Donate online via GiveMN or contact us.

In Progress: 1816 Queen Ave

Since 2012, the unremarkable, two-story house at 1816 Queen Avenue North had stood vacant. The drab building, owned by the City of Minneapolis, was an eyesore in the neighborhood. Originally built in 2002 as part of a failed for-profit development, the house lacked any curb appeal and didn’t have a garage.

1816 Queen Ave (before)

PRG purchased the property from the City of Minneapolis earlier this year and began renovation. Improvements include updated finishes and mechanical systems and the vital addition of a two-car garage.

By January, 2017, construction on the four bedroom, two bathroom house should be completed, and this HOW property will go on the market. The renovation of this house will not only improve the life of the family that buys it, its fresh new look will also improve the neighborhood.

1816 Queen Ave (after)

PRG’s First 40 Years

Explore the past 40  years of PRG by clicking the arrows to move through the timeline or use your mouse to zoom in and out.

Our Long History of Rejuvenating Neighborhoods

Demo of what would become Linden PlaceIn 1990, the corner of 32nd and Bloomington in South Minneapolis was well-known to law enforcement. Some described the block of fourplexes as a “mini-slum,” and the area had been the site of violence, illegal activity, and drive-by shootings.

So when PRG partnered with concerned neighbors to rehab the lot, area residents were enthralled by the demolition of the property.

What was built in its place were 12 two-bedroom units, each available to low-income families. The Linden Place project helped to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood by decreasing the density (from 100 to approximately 36), increasing green space and trees, and the addition of yards for children to play in.

In 1991, Linden Place was a finalist for a CUE (Committee on Urban Environment) Award in the Making Our Neighborhoods Better Places category.


40 Years of PRG

Laying the foundation for stronger neighborhoods and families for 40 yearsFrom Powderhorn to Jordan, from Native American communities to Cambodian refugee housing, from architectural awards to expansion of services, PRG has been part of the community in the Twin Cities for 40 years.

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, PRG has set a goal to raise $10,000 on Give to the Max Day, Minnesota’s annual day of giving. In the ramp-up to Give to the Max Day on November 17, we will be sharing tidbits of history and the impact of PRG over the years.

#40daysofPRGWatch for #40DaysofPRG on FacebookTwitter, and on the 40th Anniversary blog beginning October 7, and ending on Give to the Max Day on November 17, 2016.

And be sure to support PRG on Give to the Max Day!

3 Tips for a Healthy Yard

June is Healthy Homes Month which is a great reminder to double-check that our houses are safe and healthy. Installing smoke alarms and radon detectors, keeping the air free of dust and allergens, and securing poisonous substances are all ways to keep us healthy indoors.

Here are three things to keep in mind for the outside of your home.

1 | Water
Even in the land of 10,000 lakes, it’s important to be responsible about water use to save both a precious resource and money.

  • Water in early morning. Avoid watering in the evening; plants could stay wet all night, encouraging rot.
  • Plant drought-resistant turf and plants. Changing what kinds of plants are growing in your yard can mean you’ll need to water less.
  • Water just what needs watering (not the sidewalk or driveway) or use a soaker hose. This can save up to 60% more water than a traditional sprinkler.

Weed or flower?2 | Mulch

Mulching simply means covering the soil with some kind of material that benefits the garden.

  • Mulching helps to control weeds without the use of chemicals. It also improves moisture retention (meaning you save on water).
  • Mulch helps both your plants and trees. It helps control temperatures so they don’t get too hot or too cold
  • You can purchase different types of mulch at garden or hardware stores, but mulch doesn’t have to be expensive. Use grass clippings from your lawn, raked leaves in the fall, or even a thick layer of old newspaper.

3 | Improve the soil
The quality and type of soil in our yards affects what grows—and what doesn’t.

  • Find out what kind of soil you have by getting it tested at the University of Minnesota Extension. For a small fee, the service will tell you what kind of soil you have and how to improve it.
  • Compost helps to enhance soil naturally. Compost can be one way to improve the growing conditions without spending a lot of money on fertilizers (although, depending on your soil, you may still want to add fertilizer).
  • Compost improves the ability of the soil to release nutrients. It can also increase activity of earthworms—a sign that your garden is happy.
  • Compost might include yard waste like grass clippings or kitchen scraps such as coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruit/vegetable waste. Avoid meat products, feces, and waste that may have weed seeds.

Information based on: HUD-Making Homes Healthier for Families
and U of M Extension

Not a home owner yet? Contact one of our home ownership advisors to discuss the process.

3 Ways to Be Prepared for a Tight Housing Market

Everyone is talking about the hot housing market in the Twin Cities. The number of home listings in the metro area is at an all-time low and the shortage of available houses is even more severe for those homes priced for first-time buyers.

When dealing with a market like this, it pays to be prepared.

Our home ownership advisors suggest:

1) Attend a homebuyer workshop 
Homebuyer workshops, such as the HUD-approved HomeStretch Workshops offered by PRG, help you understand the home buying process even before you begin to go to open houses.

2) Meet with a homebuyer counselor
Knowing what you can afford—and what you can’t—will save you time and heartache. PRG offers free, one-on-one counseling that can help you assess your financial picture and determine what price range of home fits with your lifestyle.

3) Get pre-approved for a mortgage
When you know that you’re approved for a mortgage (and for how much), you will not only have a better experience shopping for the right home but your offer on a home will be viewed more favorably by the seller.

Still have questions about getting started in this market? Contact one of our home ownership advisors.

2015 Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

In 2015 PRG has made a big commitment to improving our policies and practices to meet our  long-held goal of being a truly diverse, inclusive, and culturally competent organization.

In June, we asked 60+ partners, clients, homebuyers, contractors, and other external stakeholders to reflect on their interactions with PRG and give frank and detailed input about how well we’re doing in this area. We gathered survey responses, then followed up by hosting a dinner to debrief on the survey results with many of the respondents.

Respondents identified PRG as having strong social capital—being welcoming and trusted—but also identified several areas for improvement.

The PRG board has now prioritized a list of actions we’ll be taking—starting right now, and continuing for the next several years—to make meaningful and measurable improvements. Top of the list is to ensure that the PRG board of directors—those who get to frame the issues and responses—reflects the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We’re changing the way we do board recruitment, improving our orientation process for new board members, and aiming to double the size of the board before the end of 2015.
We’ll be keeping our friends and partners updated on our work in this area via our newsletter and website in the months and years to come.For a copy of the survey results—or if you’re interested in exploring PRG board service—contact Executive Director Kathy Wetzel-Mastel by email or at (612) 721-7556, ext. 16.

Celebrating 2719 Lyndale

The big old house on Lyndale Avenue north sat vacant for six years, looking for too long like this:


Neighbors worried about the house: how much further it would fall into disrepair, whether it would become a site of crime and vandalism. When PRG purchased the house and began work on renovating it, people were vocal about their relief. Neighbors posted in the Old North Minneapolis Facebook group:

“2719 Lyndale Ave. N. is being extensively renovated right now! We have been waiting six years, but it’s finally happening!”

“The great thing about PRG doing it is that they intend to restore the original exterior….The exterior is all that remains that is original, but a fabulous exterior it is.”

Today, the house looks like this:


(note on buyer or sale).

This renovation and affordable resale was made possible by project funding and financing from the City of Minneapolis / CPED, Minnesota Housing, and Twin Cities Community Land Bank.

PRG Home on the 2015 Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour

We are very excited to showcase one of our recently completed Green Homes North homes on the 2015 Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour, April 25-26. If you go on the tour, look for this beautiful home at 1811 Girard in the Near North neighborhood of Minneapolis.

PRG's Executive Director, Kathy Wetzel-Mastel, with General Contractor, Anderson Mitchell of Mitchell Construction, inside 1811 Girard, a PRG Green Homes North project on the 2015 MSP Home Tour.

PRG’s Executive Director, Kathy Wetzel-Mastel, with General Contractor, Anderson Mitchell of Mitchell Construction, inside 1811 Girard, a PRG Green Homes North project on the 2015 MSP Home Tour.

This  three-bedroom, 1.5 bath home was built by trusted non-profit developer PRG, Inc. and North Minneapolis based Mitchell Construction as part of the City of Minneapolis Green Homes North Program. With over 1,800 finished square feet, this home boasts an open and spacious floor plan along with space for a future family room, bathroom, and bedroom on the lower level. As part of the Green Homes North Program this home offers many green features including: Energy Star windows, doors, shingles, lighting, and appliances. Other green features include water-conserving plumbing fixtures, low-VOC paints and adhesives, and  FSC-certified framing material. Annual energy savings for this home are estimated to be half of what it costs for an average, existing home. Traditional detailing helps this home blend naturally with the surrounding historic neighborhood which boasts  a mix of architecture, beautiful parks, easy access to downtown, and close proximity to all the great things city life has to offer.

Home Stretch Homebuyer Workshops

Share the Joy of Home Ownership!

Register and find alternate dates and locations here. 

If you are receiving this e-mail you are likely either considering home ownership or are a homeowner already. If the former, you might want to check out one of our upcoming HomeStretch homebuyer workshops. If the latter, please consider sharing this information with a friend.

PRG’s HomeStretch homebuyer workshops walk you through the home buying process. They include information on:

  • Pros and cons of home ownership
  • Working with lenders
  • Credit and budgeting
  • Special loan programs
  • Working with realtors
  • Home inspections
  • What to expect at a closing
  • Being a successful homeowner

Attending an eight-hour homebuyer workshop is recommended for anyone who is pre-approved for a mortgage loan and is required by most lenders offering special loan programs. Not sure if you qualify for a mortgage loan? You may want to start by scheduling and individual appointment with a PRG home ownership advisor.

Our workshops meet HUD guidelines and are approved by NSP and the Wells Fargo Neighborhood LIFT program.

Workshops are open to any person or family thinking about buying a home. There is no minimum or maximum income limit. The fee of $35 per household includes a detailed workbook you can keep.

Green Homes Preview

One afternoon in July, PRG staff had a chance to show off one of the first completed homes we’ve built with support from the City of Minneapolis Green Homes North program.

Staff from other Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers organizations, along with a few neighbors, came in to see the finished home at 2511 James Ave. N. (Click that link for interior photos.)

On hand to answer questions were PRG project manager Kevin Gulden and contractor Anderson Mitchell of Mitchell Construction, based nearby.

Another special guest was Dan Haugen of Certified Wood Products in Maple Lake Minnesota. As part of the Green Homes program, PRG decided to pursue using sustainably harvested lumber … a goal we quickly realized might present a challenge, as many who responded to our RFP were suppliers based in all corners of the country, where shipping costs would be prohibitive. We were glad to discover and work with this nearby vendor, who has traditionally worked with larger developers but was eager to be a part of building these green homes in the city.

tour photo 2 tour photo 1

PRG’s 600th Home

3132 LongfellowSince our start in 1976, PRG has built over 600 affordable homes that fit. We’ve had a hand in shelters for women escaping domestic violence; apartments tailored to the living styles of southeast Asian immigrants; welcoming housing for GLBT seniors; and many, many single-family homes that look and feel great to the people who live in and around them.event photo 1

We celebrated 600 in April with an open house for neighbors and partners at one of our latest rehabbed single-family homes. This house had been through foreclosure and sat vacant; the rehab work gave it some great updates that make it an excellent opportunity for affordable home ownership.

The rehab work on this home also brought something else important to the neighborhood: jobs. The contractor who did the work on the house, D & J Steele, is a small business owned and operated by a family of color; their headquarters is just a few blocks away.




Over 450 Foreclosures Prevented in Minneapolis

Foreclosures Prevented - Updated 2014

Celebrating Spirit on Lake

P1110715At the end of 2013, we celebrated the completion of Spirit on Lake, the region’s first affordable housing designed to be fully open and welcoming for GLBT seniors.

The October 30 grand opening event included a performance by Calliope Women’s Chorus, as well as resident-let building tours. A program, emceed by transgender activist and longtime Spirit on Lake leader Barbara Satin, included the many partners who made the project possible, including PRG executive director Kathy Wetzel-Mastel, Andriana Abariotes of LISC, representatives of US Bank, City of Minneapolis Director of Housing Tom Streitz, Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal, Bob Boyd of Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Representatives Karen Clark and Scott Dibble, and Living Table UCC Pastor James Pennington.

As one of the first buildings of its kind in the country, Spirit on Lake continues to be of local and national interest; Representative Keith Ellison recently toured the building and met with residents, and recent articles in the Twin Cities Daily Planet and Huffington Post bring to life what Spirit on Lake means to many of the residents.

rainbow window








Why We’re Building Greenway Heights

Search for an affordable, three- or four-bedroom apartment in midtown Minneapolis, and here’s what you might find:

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.29.12 PM

There are a few choices, but nowhere near the volume you’d hope to see, especially in a neighborhood with more and more large, working families, including thriving east African and Latin American immigrant communities. In a rental market with low availability and high prices in general, the problem appears to be even larger for families with many children.

Greenway Heights Family Housing, being developed by PRG and Phoenix Development in partnership with the East Phillips neighborhood, responds to this need. Under construction now, the building will consist of 42 apartments, all with two, three, or four bedrooms, on the Midtown Greenway and in close proximity to many transit options and amenities.

We’ll be posting more photos and updates as construction progresses. For now, we’ll celebrate  progress (excavation began this week) and the architect’s sketch of the building, scheduled for completion by fall 2014.

greenway sketch



  • My sister bought a home that PRG renovated five years ago and still loves her home. It was affordable to acquire & also to live in and maintain.

    Deb, Minneapolis
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