Two new housing initiatives to assist Penn Avenue homebuyers and current owners
Two new housing programs from Penn Avenue Community Works are launching in 2017 to both encourage people to buy homes in the Penn Avenue corridor and help current homeowners fix-up their properties.
Front Yard Fix Up program
The Front Yard Fix Up program is an effort to help beautify, deter crime and signal investment in the Penn Avenue corridor by providing homeowners up to $5,000 per property for improvements that can be seen from the street.
Eligible improvements include things like:
- Addition of front porches, decks or patios
- Exterior painting
- Windows and doors
- Walkway and front step repair
- Exterior lighting
- And more
The program is available to low- and moderate-income owner-occupied households on Penn Avenue between I-394 and 44th Avenue North and along Osseo Road from 44th Avenue North to 49th Avenue North.
Funding will be provided through a no-interest forgivable loan. This means no payments will need to be made on the loan and it will be forgiven in total if the buyer stays in the home for five years. Residents with total household incomes up to $102,960 are eligible to apply for this program. Applications may be prioritized based on property location and income levels. You must submit your completed application and two contractor bids by September 1, 2017.
Learn more and apply.
Homebuyer assistance program
In an effort to attract homebuyers to the Penn Avenue corridor, Penn Avenue Community Works is offering financial assistance of up to $3,000 to help with down payments and closing costs to buyers. The program aims to make homeownership more affordable for people of low- and moderate-incomes.
Funding is provided through a no-interest, forgivable loan. This means no payments will need to be made on the loan and it will be forgiven in total if the buyer stays in the home for five years. Homebuyers with total household incomes up to $102,960 are eligible to apply.
This funding is available for buyers who purchase a single family home, duplex, townhouse, or condominium unit in the Penn Avenue corridor, which extends from I-394 to 49th Avenue North and includes Penn, Oliver and Queen Avenues.
Learn more and apply.
*Both of the above programs are administered through the Center for Energy and Environment and managed by Hennepin County Community Works.
Funding secured for Queen Avenue bicycle boulevard
Plans are moving forward to implement a bicycle boulevard on Queen Avenue in North Minneapolis. The project was recently awarded a $1 million federal grant, including a $250,000 local match. The Queen Avenue bicycle boulevard will:
- Improve connectivity and access in North Minneapolis
- Increase transportation choices for residents
- Provide a needed north/south bicycle route in the area
- Calm traffic
The planned route will extend five miles from 44th Avenue North to Glenwood Avenue North. It will connect to several other important bike routes including Lowry Avenue, Plymouth Avenue, the planned Olson Memorial Highway cycle track, and Glenwood Avenue.
The City of Minneapolis is leading this project with support from Hennepin County and Penn Avenue Community Works. The project is currently scheduled for 2021. We’ll be looking to area residents to help shape and implement the Queen Avenue Bicycle Boulevard, so watch for engagement opportunities and other chances to provide feedback.
What is a bicycle boulevard?
Bicycle boulevards are typically streets with low traffic volumes and slower speeds. They are designated and designed to give bicycles travel priority without removing parking or traffic lanes. Motor vehicles and bicycles share the same road space. Signs, pavement markings, and other traffic calming measures are often used to create safer conditions for bicycles. These treatments also make the street safer for pedestrians and motorists.
Motor vehicles are still allowed full use of the street and parking, though alternate routes may be preferable for through trips. Residents who live along bicycle boulevards commonly say they appreciate the calming effects it can have on traffic, making their residential street safer and more pleasant for everyone who travels or lives there.
Read more on the City of Minneapolis.