Urban Homeworks

“We are a small team that works to make housing equitable and dignified, and to do that we have to engage our community and invest in policy work,” AsaleSol Young, Executive Director of Urban Homeworks said. At the end of 2022, Young and their team worked with Propel to secure a loan to bring on a Finance and Operations Director. This capacity building investment allowed the rest of the staff to focus on their positional goals.

“A partnership with Propel is a no-brainer for us,” Young said. “We love working with Propel because it really feels like a partnership. We know that they understand how we operate and what our needs are.”

Urban Homeworks (UHW) is a 28-year-old nonprofit leading the fight for housing justice so that all people have a safe, stable, and dignified place to live. The organization provides a variety of rental and homeownership opportunities for residents in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 2023, the organization received its first-ever appropriation from the State of Minnesota.

“This added stability will allow us to really focus on our mission and how we show up in community,” Young said.

The organization has big plans to increase their impact in the coming months and years. They recently broke ground on the first of five passive homes under construction this year. Passive certified homes are the most rigorous energy standard today, following a specific set of rules and guidelines that make them up to 80% more energy-efficient than standard code-built houses. Energy efficiency not only reduces the carbon footprint of a home, but it also leads to greater comfort, lower utility costs for the future homeowners, and better health.

The organization is also holding BIPOC Think Tanks over the summer to dream, collaborate, and ideate with community what a just housing ecosystem could look like.

We want to share with our community and hear from them directly” Young said. “UHW is hosting the space so every person who comes can talk about what they are bringing to that vision.”