What’s up at Western and Dale? Big changes ahead in St. Paul

The Frogtown/Rondo Action Network , part of the Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC), expects to begin construction on the one-square-block site located at University and Western in August. The site used to house an Old Home Dairy warehouse, but will soon have 57 units of affordable housing, with about six of those set aside for the chronically homeless, as well as commercial development.“We’re looking at how we can incorporate housing and business development in a new way and probably in a more innovative way, so, not the usual way you do business,” said Nieeta Presley, executive director of ASANDC. “We’re working hard at creating innovative opportunities based on ethnic and cultural assets and we’re hoping that’s gonna create new opportunities and energy for people of color, people of this community.”Although Frogtown/Rondo Action Network received most of the tax credits needed for the housing project in October, they are still in the process of signing the paperwork necessary to get those allocations. They are also waiting on historic assessment of the old property, which will be mostly preserved. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Two St. Paul foreclosures

“I get to sleep again, not worrying about the sheriff coming to the door to evict me,” Caylin Crawford said. “It means being able to paint the walls again and hang up pictures because I know I’m gonna be there for a while. I’m excited to put up holiday decorations.”On February 13, Crawford finally ended a two-year battle over foreclosure of her Frogtown home with a compromise with the lenders. Although U.S. Bank and Freddie Mac won’t try to evict her anymore, she has lost official ownership of her home. FULL DISCLOSURE: Sarah Knispel is a friend of Caylin Crawford, and organizes for OccupyHomes.“I get to sleep again, not worrying about the sheriff coming to the door to evict me,” she said, “it means being able to paint the walls again and hang up pictures because I know I’m gonna be there for a while. I’m excited to put up holiday decorations.”Crawford said her fight against foreclosure has brought her much closer to her community. She has met many people who have been through the same process she went through, down to the same bank. Continue Reading

OPINION | Student-led initiative beating back the bank attack

The Cruz family’s campaign to win their Cedar Avenue home back from Freddie Mac and PNC Bank changed my life. As a new college student and a new member of the Twin Cities community, I had no idea how far-reaching and devastating the foreclosure crisis was. And I had no concept of the scope of systemic economic inequality in this country.

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