Inheritance Fund

A cornerstone initiative of Mayor Melvin Carter, the Inheritance Fund is an innovative and people-centered program that affords low-income families from Saint Paul’s historic Rondo Neighborhood the opportunity to rebuild wealth through homeownership.

The Inheritance Fund will be available through two City programs: the Downpayment Assistance Program and the Homeowner Rehab Program. Applications will be available soon.

Rebuilding Family Wealth

The Rondo neighborhood is a vibrant and resilient cross-section of Saint Paul, deeply rooted in community and connection. By the early 1930s, the neighborhood was the beating heart for our African-American community and home to thriving businesses, religious organizations and social clubs.

Two decades later, the economic and social diversity of the area was upended when the construction of Interstate 94 began in 1956. The 12-year highway corridor construction project decimated the footprint of the Rondo neighborhood, displaced over 600 families and laid to waste over $100 million in wealth.

During Mayor Carter’s 2023 budget proposal, he shared his vision for rebuilding family wealth that was lost during the highway construct and returning to the sons and daughters of Old Rondo their inheritance of homeownership.

Funding and Eligibility

Funding

The Inheritance Fund layer in the Downpayment Assistance Program is funded through existing dollars in the Housing Trust Fund. The Downpayment Assistance Program offers assistance to all qualifying Saint Paul homebuyers who make up to 80% of the area median income (AMI). However, the Inheritance Fund layer of assistance is available to qualifying Rondo Descendants earning up to 100% AMI. For applicants that meet the requirements of all of the program layers (regular, first generation and Inheritance Fund), up to $110,000 in assistance is available.

The Inheritance Fund layer in the Homeowner Rehab Program is funded through federal Community Development Block Grant dollars. The Homeowner Rehab Program offers assistance to all qualifying Saint Paul homeowners who earn up to 80% AMI. For applicants that meet the requirements of all the program layers (regular, emergency rehab and Inheritance Fund), up to $120,000 in assistance is available.

Location

The Inheritance Fund addresses lost generational wealth and lost community wealth separately. Qualifying descendants can receive up to $100,000 in Downpayment assistance to purchase a home anywhere in the city to address lost generational wealth. If they further choose to purchase their home within the boundaries of historic Rondo, they may receive an additional $10,000 in assistance to recognize the lost community wealth being addressed with the homebuyer’s investment in the historic Rondo community.

In the Homeowner Rehab Program, qualifying descendants can receive up to $95,000 in rehab assistance. If the qualifying descendant owns their home within the boundaries of historic Rondo, they may receive an additional $25,000 in assistance to recognize the benefit to the greater community of maintaining and improving the housing stock in Historic Rondo.

Property Type

For the Downpayment Assistance Program, the property must be a residential one-to-two-unit occupancy that complies with zoning and code requirements. Individual condominium units, townhome units and cooperative housing units are eligible and considered a one-unit occupancy.

Special requirement for two-unit (duplex) properties: At least one unit must be owner-occupied. Under section 40.04 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code, buyers of two-unit (duplex) properties applying for their first fire certificate occupancy are required to complete Landlord 101 training through the City of Saint Paul.

For the Homeowner Rehab Program, the property must be a residential one-to-four unit occupancy that is owner-occupied and complies with zoning and code requirements, unless the rehab is intended to correct any such requirements.

Purchase Price Limits 

There is no purchase price limit.

Apply for the Inheritance Fund

The Saint Paul Housing Authority green-lighted the Inheritance Fund at its January 11, 2023 meeting. Applications are expected to be available in February 2023. The City of Saint Paul will share more information when available.

Last Edited: January 18, 2023