An Ongoing Partnership

February 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Susan Solarz 1In March 2015 the CLCLT achieved another milestone when buyer, Susan Solarz, closed on a duplex in the Ventura Village neighborhood in South Minneapolis. The up-down duplex (one unit above the other) was rehabbed by Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC) and features 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms in the lower unit and 2 bedrooms and 1 bath in the upper unit. When asked about her motivation for purchasing a duplex, Susan responded “I want to become a foster parent and so I wanted that extra source of income to help me be at home with the kids. Owning a duplex will help me do that as well as continue my [sculpting] artwork. It was just a perfect opportunity.”

Unfortunately for Susan, finding the right property took longer than anticipated (“I ended up looking for a house for three years!”) but with a referral from her realtor, Osborne Strickland, Susan learned about the CLCLT and the Homebuyer Initiated Program (HIP). Susan recalls, “I remember that there were a few people who didn’t know much about it [the CLCLT] who warned me…that I wouldn’t own it completely.” It wasn’t long, however, before Susan’s reservations about working with the CLCLT began to ease.

“I got a good feeling from Staci (Horwitz, CLCLT Program Director) that she wasn’t there to make big bucks and [she] did a good job of explaining things and helping me to understand the CLCLT process.” Susan wasn’t nervous about being the first duplex-buyer in CLCLT history either, “…we were able to move slowly while CLCLT created the duplex policy. Because of that I got to really try things on and make sure that this made sense for me.”

Several months after closing, Susan has rented the upper unit, is working to finish her foster care parenting classes, and continues to produce artwork with a practical application such as redesigning playhouses for Ronald McDonald House Charities on the East Bank of Minneapolis which will be completed Spring 2016.

Susan’s gratitude for the CLCLT extends beyond the financial assistance provided through HIP. “As a single person there were so many times I had to make big decisions and I would wish for a partner. With this process you have [a partnership] with the CLCLT. I can call them and talk about my questions or concerns and I get a lot of help and support from the CLCLT. It’s an ongoing partnership and that is my favorite thing.”



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