Stories of Service


Learning from Our History: Coleman Reflects On His First Year at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman, President & CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (which is one of ServeMinnesota’s AmeriCorps partner organizations) recently published a blog on the discriminatory housing practices that led to Minnesota’s worst-in-the-nation racial gap in homeownership. He describes how racial covenants used over the last century have prevented people of color from buying homes in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities. On top of that, bank redlining in black neighborhoods prevented people from getting good mortgages, and construction of our interstates bulldozed thousands out of their homes.

We are grateful that Twin Cities Habitat and many others are working hard so everyone can share in our region’s prosperity. Below is an excerpt from Chris’ commentary.

“One critical take-away from this past year [as CEO] is the context in which we do our work. Of course, on an individual basis, we are changing the lives for the families who partner with us. But the work that we do at Twin Cities Habitat also helps us overcome historic practices that have led to some of the largest racial disparities in the nation – particularly in homeownership. In Minnesota, seventy five percent of white families own homes, while only twenty five percent of black families are homeowners. That data has been painfully visible for years.

One thing is clear: it was no accident.”

Read Chris’ full post on the Twin Cities Habitat blog.

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