Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Images From The Recent North Minneapolis Housing Fair
Hawthorne Housing Director Jeff Skrenes took most of these pictures and gave me a firsthand account of the Housing Fair.
According to Jeff, Hawthorne's table was a bit...
...heavy with Eco Village stuff, but there was still significant interest in the topic of "how do you combine the Minneapolis Advantage and the Hawthorne Advantage?"
Jeff--whose met two friends ALSO named Jeff at the Housing Fair (coincidence or conspiracy?!) got some perspective on how this North Minneapolis event compared to a similar event in South Minneapolis. According to Jeff Washburne of the Community Land Trust, more referrals are coming to his office from North Minneapolis than South Minneapolis. The South Minneapolis housing fair has more people who are already homeowners and looking for remodeling tips and contractor leads. North Minneapolis has folks interested in purchasing a home.
Jeff Skrenes also talked to Jeff Gessell from US Bank--an old friend of Jeff's. According to Jeff (both of them, probably) "there is no other mortgage program out there that can hold a candle to US Bank's American Dream and American Dream With Rehab Products." Jeff (both of them) says, "Anybody thinking of buying a home should check out these programs."
Connie Nompelis (No-bliss) did a seminar on how to buy a foreclosed home, which was well-attended, mostly by speculators, investors, and landlords.
Word was this event was more sparsely attended than last year's, but Jeff saw a pretty steady flow of people.
Here are some captions to go with some (not all) of the photos.
From the top, first two photos: Jeff Skrenes gets a back massage from Patricia Arana of Taylor Made Massage And Bodywork at 4167 Lyndale Ave. N.
Jeff told Patricia he'd make sure the picture got up on my blog, since he spent the whole day standing up in dress shoes and his back was killing him before Patricia and her magic fingers. Yeah.
So here I am doing the work of blogging Jeff's back massage. Meanwhile, all I got from my brief visit to the Housing Fair was a t-shirt from NSMTF and, oh, a few fridge magnets.
JEFF!!! WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS BLOGGER/HOUSING DIRECTOR RELATIONSHIP, HERE!!!!
To continue: A few photos down, the guy from ACORN Mini-Storage talks to mini-attendees of the Housing Fair. ACORN Mini-Storage is NOT to be confused with the advocacy group named ACORN though, you know, some folks have thought of moving into those vacant storage units and just, like, living there. (God will provide utilities, they say)
No, seriously, the mini-storage guy was cool and when you're moving from one place to another, this kind of service can be useful.
Next photo down, Anderson Mitchell of Mitchell construction went all out on his display, virtually building a mini-set. He doesn't do stuff halfway.
Next, City of Lakes Community Land Trust. If you're looking for a starter home, these folks have VERY LARGE AMOUNTS OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE. Word.
In the next photo, note the guy on the left with the bag. Fairs like this are sort of like trick-or-treat for grownups. I wonder if he got a NMTF shirt?
There are more photos that people can feel free to identify with comments, but I plan to put the whole works on my Facebook page, too. I should say this: the lead testing was a VERY popular table. You wouldn't think people would get all excited about lead testing, but they did. Mostly, I think it was...well, how often do you get a chance to do this? And wouldn't you like to KNOW?
There are photos of some neighborhood association tables, including the Jordan Area Community Council. They had a one page, double-sided newsletter printed up, the "Jumping JACC Flash." Ah, yes.
"I was born...in a crossfire hurricane."
Sounds like JACC, for sure.
The JACC photo includes Chairman Kip Browne's new wife, Kelly. Normally, Kelly doesn't like to be in pictures but, hey, I got this one fair and square from Jeff.
A couple photos down is the NOMI table. Jeff says, "It should be noted they had GLBT/NOMI t-shirts but elected not to wear them, because of the mis-perception that NOMI is affiliated only or primarily with the GLBT community. (In fact) NOMI is inclusive to all of North Minneapolis."
All the same, there were still some interesting DISCUSSIONS taking place, there. As I walked by I heard, "Yes, but an interracial couple still doesn't have to deal with society's GENDER barriers!"
I scored a NOMI sticker for my file cabinet. Northside Marketing Task Force had a booth there, also, with a lot of really great historical photos all in a fat binder but I do not have a picture of their booth.
The last picture shows Connie Nompelis doing her seminar. As you will note, nobody is sitting in the front row. What's wrong, big spenders? Afraid you'll have to tip if you sit in the front row?
Though a low-key event, it was very valuable. For one thing, a lot of "movers and shakers" ended up meeting each other, exchanging contact information, making connections. North Minneapolis is in the middle of an unprecedented SITUATION with its affordable, character-rich housing stock, and events like this help folks obtain the knowledge to make some kind of move to buy, buy, buy.
There. Now, Jeff, can I go back to my FUN blogging?