ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A new non-profit based in St. Cloud is helping people buy their first home.

One Community Alliance trains would-be homeowners in its Homestretch Courses in partnership with the African Development Center. They certified 53 families in their first training session, and they have about 30 families in the second group.

Director of Engagement Megan Kalk says last May the State Legislature passed a bill for first-generation downpayment assistance. The state has $170 million for potential new homeowners and people who have gone through foreclosure.

They are expecting people to be able to access about $30,000 for a downpayment on a house.  Our goal is to increase homeownership with that and we want to ensure that central Minnesota gets its fair share of that.

One Community Alliance has services that include helping to find access to financial partnerships as well as financial coaching and support.

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They say the St. Cloud area has a 30 percent population of color, but just 12.6 percent of homes are owned by people of color. This places St. Cloud as the 9th highest homeownership disparity in the U.S.

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