Frequently Asked Questions
Affordable Housing and the Mills Church Project
Below are the most Frequently Asked Questions about Affordable Housing and the Mills Church project with answers and links to resources.
What is Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing is defined as housing where the tenants (renters or homeowners) spend no more than 30% of their income on housing costs. When housing is affordable for a person or family, they don’t have to make difficult choices between housing payments and other necessities like healthcare, education costs, transportation, and food.
Is Affordable Housing Good for a Suburban Neighborhood?
Building affordable housing is the best thing Suburban cities can do for the overall flourishing of their residents and neighborhoods. A diversity of housing options at affordable price points for families are shown to be essential for a city's ongoing vitality. It is sometimes believed that affordable housing will somehow have adverse effects on a neighborhood. The truth is that building affordable housing in suburban neighborhoods does NOT increase crime, decrease property values, or raise taxes. Families all desire safe communities and neighborhoods to raise their families. It is the lack of affordable housing options that have been shown to be a cause of public safety, health, economic, and educational declines. Being for and helping to create affordable housing is the number one thing cities and neighbors can do to promote flourishing and safe neighborhoods that benefit all of their residents. It is why the city of Minnetonka has made "policies to diversify housing and increase affordable housing options" a strategic priority.
How Does Building Affordable Housing Impact Surrounding Property Values?
Most affordable housing developments actually have a positive impact on nearby property values. This has been extensively studied and projects show positive and neutral impacts on property values in most cases. See also this digest of 62 independent studies.
The positive value of the Mills Church project is even better because the development will be transferring non-taxable land into the city's property tax base. The proposed homes and townhomes will have a market value between $350,000 and $425,000 and homeowners will pay property taxes. These price points sit very reasonably within the existing neighborhood.
How will this development impact traffic in the area?
The Mills Church is giving up its organizational access off of Inverness Road in order to offset the addition of new homes. Acess off of Inverness Road will be exclusively used by the new neighbors. Limiting the current organizational access to Minnetonka Drive will have a substantial impact on offsetting the additional neighborhood use.
Who buys homes with Twin Cities Habitat? Who will live in these Homes?
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is developing, building, and will be selling the homes and townhomes built to approved Habitat for Humanity homebuyers. Habitat homebuyers must meet Habitat’s income guidelines and other financial criteria and take homeownership preparation classes. Homebuyers access a 30-year fixed rate mortgage through Habitat’s lending subsidiary, TCHFH Lending, Inc., with mortgage payments set at 30% of their income.
Many Twin Cities Habitat Homeowners are our medical professionals, postal workers, and government workers who have not only been on the frontline during the past couple of years but have been present for us to have access to essential services. They are hard-working neighbors who will now have access to an affordable place to live and put down roots in this community. Like so many families in Minnetonka, those who choose to partner with Habitat want to create safety and stability for their families and children. Most homebuyers buy a home with Habitat so they can have improved housing quality, greater family stability, a predictable monthly housing payment, access to good schools, and connections to neighbors.
Is the Mills Church Building High-Density Apartments?
The Mills Church is not building apartments. The plan is to build a combination of single-family homes and townhomes.
Who Manages the Love Makes Room Website
The Mills Church congregation manages Lovemakesroom.org