After renting for many years, Melissa was ready to look for a home close to work and family in the Twin Cities.

“As a new home buyer, we looked for over a year at all our options to find a home we could afford and were very happy when we found the Community Land Trust program called Homes with Reach” said Melissa.

“The HWR staff walked us through each step of the application and buying process as we prepared to become homeowners in Richfield,” said Melissa. “We were first time home-buyers and everything was new and would have been even more nerve wrecking or scary without the assistance of HWR staff.”

The mission of the not for profit organization, West Hennepin Affordable Land Trust WHAHLT, dba Homes Within Reach HWR, is to create and preserve affordable homeownership for work-force families living and working in the suburban communities of Hennepin County.

“We closed on December 29, 2016 and moved everything in on December 31st to wake up in our new home on New Year’s Day. It’s not a house, it is a home,” said Melissa. “Today, my husband David and I live with our children in our Richfield home with a deck and a fenced in perfect square flat yard. We have a little garden and it is fun to create and have a space where our children can go outside and play.”

HWR staff work with families that would be otherwise unable to buy a home in Hennepin suburban communities; thereby opening the door to them as homeowners to invest in endeavors that truly enhance the quality of their lives – such as career opportunities, supportive health environment and the comfort and the security of being a homeowner.

Shortly after moving into their new home, Melissa opened an on-line business called the Little Richfield Nest that creates hand painted signs for home decor, gifts and other special occasions. “One of my most popular signs – inspired by our first home is – ‘New Home, New Beginning, New Memories’.”

“When I tell our friends and family about our land trust home, I tell them about Homes Within Reach and how they helped us find the house we hope to call home for many years.”