The historically Black Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota, was once a thriving community for African Americans until it was demolished in the 1950s to make way for Interstate 94. Residents and business owners lost their homes and properties, resulting in a significant loss of intergenerational wealth that could not be passed on to subsequent generations.
Recognizing the impact of this loss, the city of St. Paul has launched a new program called the Inheritance Fund to help rebuild wealth for the descendants of Rondo residents. Anthony Bradford, a descendant of Rondo residents, recently became the first person to purchase a home using the Inheritance Fund.
The program provides forgivable loans of up to $100,000 to Rondo descendants to purchase a home anywhere in St. Paul. Additionally, the city offers an additional $10,000 if the home is purchased within Rondo’s old boundaries. The goal of the fund is to provide opportunities for descendants to reclaim the lost value of their properties. To qualify for the Inheritance Fund, prospective homebuyers must have an annual income of $87,000 or less, with higher limits for couples and families.
They must also prove that they are descendants of Rondo residents who were displaced by Interstate 94. The program has already received overwhelming interest, with over 500 applications for down payment assistance and over 700 applications for homeowner assistance, a significant portion of which are Inheritance Fund applicants. The Inheritance Fund expands on St.
Paul’s existing down payment assistance and homeowner rehab programs for low-income residents. It is a step towards rectifying the historical wrongs done to the Rondo community and ensuring that future generations have the opportunity to build wealth and thrive. Mayor Melvin Carter, who himself is a descendant of Rondo property owners, emphasized the importance of providing descendants like Anthony Bradford with the chance to reclaim the lost value and build a brighter future. Sources: – “New St.
Paul program helps descendants of Rondo residents buy homes,” MPR News.