In 1976, a few neighbors banded together to preserve affordable housing in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis. More than 40 years later, PRG, has expanded to cover the Twin Cities metro area, addressing multiple issues through affordable housing development and homeownership advising.

PRG’s Communications and Development Manager, Ryan Stopera, states that the growth of PRG has been centered around being intentional, focusing on building racial equity, and building strong partnerships with local businesses. Much of PRG’s work centers on education and closing generational knowledge gaps around homeownership in communities of color in the metro area.

“PRG’s education and coaching program is focused on long-term financial inclusion, asset development, and empowerment,” says Stopera, “Our program was developed to help those who may be several years away from meeting lending requirements, to build credit, savings, and the financial behaviors needed to obtain and sustain homeownership.”

PRG partners with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to support households in moving along the housing continuum.  There are over 13,000 households on the MPHA waiting list, and 180 of those households have sufficient income (>60% AMI), to move toward homeownership.  The initiative not only frees up unit for those with the highest need move into shelter, it provides opportunity for those who may not have considered homeownership to purchase their first home.  Utilizing strategic partnerships to provide education through homeownership advising and financial coaching is one way PRG is creating opportunities for communities of color.

According to Stopera, PRG’s future hinges on their core strengths. PRG is “small but mighty;” the area of influence they have and the partnerships they have forged allow them to efficiently drive positive change. Making affordable housing a reality for Twin Cities residents will require continual collaboration as well as policy change, a task that PRG says is driven by their community policy advocates.

If you would like to learn more about PRG or find out how you can help ensure affordable housing availability in the Twin Cities visit their website: http://prginc.org/