Ownership Programs for Public Housing and Section 8

Let MPHA help you realize your dream of homeownership.

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) offers first time homebuyer education, training and mortgage readiness counseling to its public housing and Minneapolis Section 8 families participating in the Lease-to-Own initiative.





The Waiting List for MPHA’s Lease-to-Own program is currently OPEN.
Click here for information on How to Apply.

This program is currently limited to MPHA-owned two-bedroom public housing town homes in the Heritage Park Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

Candidates must be public housing eligible, have household income at or below 80% of AMI, and agree to actively participate in counseling services, while leasing a select two-bedroom public housing town home in Heritage Park.  Candidates must demonstrate that they can qualify for an MPHA-approved mortgage loan within three years, and purchase the town home within five years.  Rent incentives and matched savings programs may assist with down payment and closing costs when the family is able to purchase the home.  These units are new town houses, constructed in 2006.


To meet the Minimum Criteria the Pre-applicant Family must:

  • Have one to four family members for these 2-bedroom townhome units;
  • Be a first time homebuyer;
  • Have an income of $25,500/year;
  • Have reasonable credit;
  • Be currently employed and continuously employed at the firm or doing the same or similar work for the previous two year period. This requirement may be waived for an elderly or disabled applicant who has sufficient income to qualify for purchasing financing;
  • Be able to pay minimum rent and utilities in the amount of $869/month; and
  • Have the capacity to qualify for financing and to purchase the townhome within five years.


Interested in our MTW Lease-to-Own Program?

Interested and apparently eligible families must complete and submit a MTW Lease-to-Own pre-application.  Information will be verified and credit reports will be pulled to determine mortgage readiness.  Apparently eligible applicants will be referred to MPHA’s non-profit partner for a mortgage assessment.

For more information about MPHA’s Moving To Work Lease-to-Own Program, please contact:

Janice Hughes

(612) 342-1229

Or use our Agency Contact Form


Minnesota Homeownership Center

First Time Homebuyer Education Training and Mortgage Readiness Counseling critical to being a successful first time homebuyer.  Learn what you need to do to qualify for a mortgage loan, know what to look for; don’t be subjected to predatory lending practices and real estate flipping schemes! Learn about mortgage programs for first time homebuyers.  To receive a calendar with training dates and locations, call the homeownership center or download dates, times and location of non-profit organizations conducting workshops at www.hocmn.org
Note:  Prospective homebuyer’s utilizing any City or State sponsored homeownership program offering primary mortgage loans and downpayment assistance must have completed the “Homestretch” first time homebuyer’s workshop before loan approval.  Call the Minnesota Homeownership Center to find the nearest workshop location to you!

Habitat for Humanity

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates homes in the seven-county metro area to help low-income families enter affordable homeownership and to engage communities in the importance of this work.  Habitat works side by side with selected homebuyers, volunteers and staff to build single family, twin or multi-unit homes.  Habitat homeownership applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Lived in the Twin Cities for at least one year
  • Meet Twin Cities Habitat’s income guidelines and credit and occupancy standards (these are adjusted annually).
  • Attend all Habitat homeowner education and training
  • Contribute 300-500 hours of work toward the construction of Habitat Homes

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA)

Contact this State Agency if you are interested in a 30-year fixed FHA mortgage product for purchasing the home of your dreams anywhere in the State of Minnesota. MHA also has several different downpayment assistance programs available to qualified buyers. Call the MHA Homes Division to receive an information packet and a list of qualifying MHA lenders, or download current information and list of participating lenders. MHA participant lenders also administer the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) down payment assistance program.

MHA also provides eligible homebuyers who qualify for a Minnesota Housing loan to receive an interest free, deferred loan to help with down payment and closing costs through the Homeownership Assistance Fund (HAF).  Contact a Minnesota Housing participating lender prior to signing a purchase agreement.  You may be eligible for the HAF, if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Borrowers eligible for CASA program
  • Qualify as an eligible target market
  • Household earning 60% (or less) of area median income

City of Minneapolis – City Living Homeownership Mortgage Program

The City of Minneapolis offers financing and two types of improvement loans through its City Living Program, a joint effort between the City of Minneapolis and the City of St. Paul.  For more than 20 years the two cities have worked together to create mortgage loan products for low- and moderate-income families.

Historically, CityLiving loans offer homebuyers an opportunity to purchase homes in Minneapolis at an interest rate that historically ranks below general market rates.  Down payment assistance may also be available to eligible households.

Call or visit the City’s web site and download program information, applications and the list of participating lenders.

City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT)

CLCLT assists first time homebuyers in providing down payment assistance for the purchase of homes in the City of Minneapolis.  Potential homebuyers must meet income guidelines and qualify for the primary mortgage loan with a CLCLT participant lender.  Homebuyer’s purchase the home and improvements, and enter into a long term land lease to sustain the affordability of the property.  Upon sale of the home, there is an equity split between CLCLT and the homeowner, making the home perpetually affordable to lower income families.  Call CLCLT at ext. 18 for more information.

Powderhorn Residents Council

Powderhorn Residents Group Inc. partners with communities all over the Twin Cities to stem the tide of home foreclosures and mitigate the effects of vacant, foreclosed homes.  They offer free foreclosure counseling, helping many clients stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure.

PRG is certified to conduct First Time Homebuyer Training Education and Mortgage Readiness Counseling by the American Homeownership Education Counseling and Training Institute (AHECTI) and the Minnesota Homeownership Center to give first-time and first-generation homebuyers the knowledge and confidence to buy homes and be successful, long-term homeowners.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis

The mission of Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis is to renew pride, promote and revitalize inner-city neighborhoods through the efforts of local residents, acting in concert with public and private partnership; and by emphasizing safe, affordable housing through homeownership for low and moderate income individuals and families in under represented populations.

NHS is also offers:

  • Homeownership Education
  • Homeownership Improvement Financing
  • Purchase/rehab financing and refinancing

Geographic Area:  Target neighborhoods in North and South Minneapolis

901 3rd Street North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN, 55401
Phone: 612-521-3581

Housing Resource Centers

The HousingRescource Centers offer Down payment assistance for home buyers in many Twin Cities communities as well as low cost financing to fix up your home, rental property or business to qualifying borrowers.

2148 44th Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55412
Phone: 612-588-3033

3749 Cedar Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Phone: 612-722-7141


OwnAHomeMN.org is a centralized, online resource for low to moderate income families who are exploring homeownership in the Twin Cities. Here, prospective homebuyers can find listings of affordable single family, condominium, and townhome ownership options constructed or rehabilitated by local non-profit developers.

Listings include:
• Price
• Property features
• Detailed information on purchase assistance
• Programs

Unlike the MLS, OwnAHomeMN.org offers listings exclusively from locally based, non-profit housing developers. These organizations have committed to improving the communities where they work and their homes are built or rehabilitated to high standards.

The website also contains a section on homeownership resources, including homebuyer assistance and affordable rehab or improvement programs, homeownership counseling and education, and foreclosure prevention offered by nonprofit and governmental partners.


[Download all Non-MPHA Homeownership resources listed above]