The American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC), a non-profit based in Minneapolis, has created the Many Rivers Group LLC, to help make homeownership a reality for American Indians.
Homeownership is the primary wealth-building tool for most families. According to the 2002 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, most families believe that buying a home has a lot of potential as an investment, and the majority of homeowners say that the value of their homes has increased at least a little since they owned them.
Most families that rent, especially low and moderate-income families, can spend half or more of their income on rent, saving almost nothing. Buying a home is like opening a savings account – each month families accrue home equity by paying off a portion of their mortgages.
According to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the State of Minnesota Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative, Minnesota has been a leader in the percentage of residents who own homes. The figures show that in Minnesota there is a 78 percent homeownership rate for whites; while the homeownership rate for American Indians is only 49 percent.
The goal of Many Rivers Group is to close that gap. Their misson is to increase homeownership opportunities for American Indian families; foster the development of life skills such as household budgeting, financial management, and home maintenance; and foster community development by strengthening the social and economic bonds of Native communities through increased homeownership.
According to Jason Bresette, Community Development Project Manager at AICDC, the Many Rivers Group represents Native individuals and families through the home buying process. “What separates us from the rest is our understanding of the culturally relevant real estate tools that are available to the American Indian homebuyer. The Many Rivers Group is connected with the tribes of Minnesota and Wisconsin and works hard for their urban constituents to realize their dreams of owning a home,” he said.
The AICDC will hold its first homebuyer workshop on Sept 16. For more information, or to set up an individual meeting to talk about homeownership opportunities, call Jason Bresette at 612-813-1610, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Rivers Group. LLC is located at 1404 East Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.