HRC’S At Works

Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation

HousingResource Centers at work

HousingResource Centers™ Serving the Community…

GMHC has found that individual attention to each homeowner is very important and critical for understanding the program requirements and having a successful experience when making investments in their properties. In addition, we have found that without our services people are not willing or likely to take on projects to continue the upkeep of their properties.

It is people like you and your organization that make it so possible for me to stay living in my home.”

~A comment made from a HousingResourceCenter client~

Examples include: Aging homeowners living in a two story home with only one bathroom located on the second floor. They want to stay in their home but due to health issues they need a bath on the first floor. The center provides the needed help with the planning, financing, and construction process. Or a new family enjoys living in their present neighborhood because they are close to good schools, have access to public transportation and they love their location. Their family is expanding and rather than move to another home, they want to add another bedroom. Again we can provide the needed help in the construction of the addition.

GMHC will assist very low-income individuals and families with emergency repairs problems. For example, an individual needing a plumber or an elderly individual needing help with sewer line repairs. We were able to refer them to the appropriate services to solve their emergency problems. GMHC has also set aside “Last Resort” funds as grants to assist homeowners repair life and safety issues even though they have no funds.


Following are some samples of GMHC’s great work in the community:

Trees Can Be the Root of Many Problems …
This client suffers from a severe condition that limits her mobility and receives home nursing care two days a week and a home maker one day a week. She had a stroke 2 ˝ years ago and has difficulty walking and is prohibited from going to the basement. Her kidneys do not function properly and is under care from a doctor at the U of M. She remains connected to a lifeline at the North Memorial Hospital. Her only income is with social security disability of $1,054 a month with a mortgage payment of $573. She also receives $10 in food stamps monthly and daily “Meals On Wheels”. A tree was removed from her front yard with roots blocking the main sewer system. The roots were never ground out and sewage has backed up in her basement floor drain. Unable to pay for the repair work of $1,500 to fix the sewer and clean up, she qualified for “Last Resort” funding. The health hazard has been removed and meets city compliance.

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A ‘No Basement’ Problem …
This client is a single mother living with her 14 year old son. She is currently employed earning $11 and hour or $765 every 2 weeks. Her monthly mortgage payment is $782. The dwelling is built on a concrete slab with no basement. The sewer line was broken at the curb. Since there is no basement, the clean out is exposed in the yard that is boxed in to prevent freeze up in winter months. The client is responsible for the repairs to her home to correct the exposed clean out. The cost was $3,000. Since the client had no funds to fix the problem, she qualified for “Last Resort” funding. The problem has been fixed and the client remains in her home.

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Hot Water Heaters Need Replacing …
This client lives in a single family home with her six children and one infant grandchild. One child is afflicted with cerebra palsy and is confined to a wheel chair. Her initial request was for assistance to secure a hot water heater. While our evaluation acknowledged the emergency of the hot water heater that was shut off due to the rusted out holding tank, we needed to shut off the water as it was flooding the basement. The client expressed her concerns to living without a hot water heater and was heating water on the electric stove for cooking and bathing needs. Since their only income is from county assistance, food stamps and minimal child support, she qualified for “Last Resort” funding. The water heater was replaced and plumbing is now up to code.

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A Referral from the City of Mounds View…
This property owner is a senior citizen with limited income and under financial hardship while living alone. They have no direct means available to correct the unsafe condition of an exterior natural gas supply line. In addition, the property owner has been diagnosed with a mental health illness and may not realize the importance of taking the necessary actions to remedy this unsafe condition. HRC staff visited the property and determined the need to make the necessary improvements through GMHC’s “Last Resort” funding program.

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Letters from Satisfied Clients …

Dear Carolyn Olson,I don’t know how to thank you for helping me, a stranger, when I was up against having to have someone do such an expensive job. But may God bless you, I felt like crying when I was told that there would be no expense on my part.

We had years where we would have a plumber come in to open our kitchen sewer line, if my husband or sons couldn’t get it open. Several weeks ago we called the sewer company and was told there had to be a broken pipe. That was the problem; they had to break our family room floor, as well as in the laundry room. The work was well done and I have you to thank for that.

I’m a widow, so Social Security and a small $29 a month check is all I have to live on. My son moved in here before my husband’s death, as I am handicapped and can’t live alone.

May God bless you and your generous heart.

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Dear HousingResource Center,Your help and concern for the replacement of my furnace and air conditioning is appreciated beyond words! Stephanie and Paul, I cannot convey in words, the kindness and understanding you gave me in trying to help me resolve my HAC problem. Your efficiency and expert knowledge made the whole process a pleasant experience. Hats off to everyone at the HousingResource Center. I never in my wildest dreams, thought I would be a candidate for Last Resort Funds! You never know when life is going to pull the rug out from under you. My greatest thanks to whoever is responsible for this program. It is truly a life saving program. Hopefully one day I will have the funds to pay back the program, in hopes that someone else who is having a financial crisis will have the opportunity for some peace of mind by benefiting from this program!

Thanks again for all your help! Everyone who helped me, I want them to know how much they improved the quality of our life!

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This letter was sent to Terrica Carlson at the HousingResourceCenter-Southside:I would like to take this time and opportunity to say a few things here, if I could, that I am sure I haven’t shared yet.

Without warning, I was in a hospital and into heart surgery -vein & artery implants, and an amputation of my left leg. During this time, my neighborhood block leader heard of this grant, and with my brother and Terrica’s help, I filled out the application, signed it, and applied for this grant. Without the grant and its funding, I had no way of entrance to my home. I am in a wheel chair now, and was in need of driveway pavement, a walk way ramp, deck and a door wide enough for the wheel chair. My future, after living in my home for 29 years, would have been moving into a convalescent unit, virtually for life. To say that the grant saved me from a life I surely didn’t want is to say the least. When a birth defect is discovered in you and you had no knowledge of it previously, taking out a loan is the last thing you need, or can qualify for, with doctor bills all over the place.

So I want to thank you, and Steve, and all in the office who assisted in helping me qualify for the grant, seeing it through completion, and caring about whether I got the grant or not in the first place.

Sincerely,

C.C. – Deferred loan recipient

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Dear Ms. Olson:It is with great pleasure that I am writing you to convey our great appreciation for the services provided to the community by the staff of the Minneapolis Resource Center. Mr. Stephen Green of your department gave us a great deal of help during our recent major renovation. Mr. Green came to our house to discuss our project with my wife and I. We spend about 2 hours discussing our architectural plan. That conversation resulted in very useful modifications of our design. For example, he provided information that led to construction of back stairs and landing foundation on slab. I contacted him many times about hiring contractors and the questions that I encountered during the construction of our house. I do not have extensive knowledge about insulation in Minnesota and his discussion on various choices of insulation led to selection of Icynene insulation. He also guided me to contact a specialist in cold climate and housing and insulation.

Our project started last fall and we had an open house for friends and neighbors, including contractors and people who had helped us. Mr. Green came to celebrate our open house and interacted with many individuals.

I do want you to know that without Mr. Green’s discussions, I would certainly have made numerous errors in hiring contractors. He was very generous with his time throughout our remodeling project. I want to convey to you that Mr. Green is a gem of a person who is highly skilled in sharing his expertise coupled with this is an excellent attitude that is second to none.

Sincerely yours,

A.S.- HousingResource Center client

HousingResource Center Staff Make a Difference …

Steve, construction manager, recently worked with a resident who had been very problematic to his neighborhood, because of the work he has done on his home, on and off for a very long time. The resident was essentially homeless because his home was inhabitable, broke, depressed and receiving notices from the City that he would soon lose his permits unless he could fix his roof and other outstanding issues. He was on SENA’s Vacant and Vulnerable list and his property was an eyesore to various complaining neighbors. Steve, with some help from the Neighborhood Association and a young contractor that he mentors, spent his personal time on two weekends working on the roof until it was completed. The resident has also turned in his paperwork for 2 deferred loan programs and will be able to complete the other necessary repairs on his property. The resident thanks us constantly. It took the efforts of the entire staff to help this person, but Steve in particular really made sure that the resident got the help he needed by going over and above the scope of his already very busy job.

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Terrica, HRC program assistant, assisted a woman who came to the office for help in repairing her duplex. The client was developmentally disabled, and had called may places before finding a resource that would actually giver her the time of day. Programs available to her were explained, as well as programs that would assist her outside of the HRC. It was clear that she was tired of dealing with other organizations and that she did not have the experience or ‘know how” to deal with contractors or complicated financing. When we told her we would help her, she began to cry and said ” she had asked God to help her find someone who would really help her” and that she “couldn’t believe that it was actually happening.” Since that time, Terrica has called churches, other organizations, contractors and anyone else that she could find to help this woman. Terrica got her some emergency funds from PPL, enrolled her in our Federal Home Loan Bank Program, found contractors that would work with her, and found her a free stovetop ready for installation in her home. This is not something that she was instructed to do, but was clearly an effort care above and beyond her scope of work.

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