Minneapolis Community Partnership – Little Earth of United Tribes and CLCLT

July 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1973, Little Earth of United Tribes (LEUT) – the only urban
Indian-preference community in the nation – was founded with the intent to become a focal point of American Indian life in the Twin Cities. Located in the East Phillips Neighborhood of South Minneapolis, one of Little Earth’s initial goals included providing affordable, livable housing to metro Native American households. One area in which LEUT focused was that of the homeownership inequities within Native American households. According to recent studies only 19% of Native American households currently own their own home, compared to 49% homeownership in non-Native American households.

In 2010, LEUT invited CLCLT to partner with them to form The Little Earth Homeownership Initiative as a means to assist LEUT in their plans to grow and create long-term, affordable housing opportunities for the Twin Cities’ American Indian community. The area of focus was that of E.M. Stately Street, just one block south of Little Earth. A total of five homes (four new constructions and one remodel) were recently completed and on November 20, 2013, CLCLT was present at the first closing of an E.M. Stately Street home.

One of the homes on E.M. Stately Street in South Minneapolis.

Recent homeowner, Darian, knew immediately upon seeing the property that this was the right choice for her. In addition to the home’s layout and finished details, Darian also appreciated its proximity to the Little Earth community and her college. While working through the buying process with LEUT and the CLCLT, Darian felt supported, sharing that not only did she feel a sincere desire from the CLCLT to help, but also felt that the organization wanted her to get the house as much as she did.

Darian’s hope is that owning this home will give her the opportunity to encourage other people, especially in the American Indian community, to pursue homeownership. “I think it’s given [the Little Earth community] the idea that this is real. It has encouraged them to settle not for just [rental] townhouses but to actually strive for homeownership.”

Through partnership with the CLCLT, the initial affordability investment put into the E.M. Stately Street homes will be re-invested with each resale of the home. This re-investment will keep the homes affordable through multiple generations, assisting LEUT in achieving its goal of providing quality, affordable, sustainable homeownership in the Twin Cities’ American Indian community.

Author’s Note: In the time since Darian closed on her home, the Little Earth Homeownership Initiative has assisted two other households in obtaining affordable homeownership.

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