By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday approved $14 million to create 104 affordable homes in the city.

The program, called Minneapolis Homes, will construct 62 new houses, while 42 additional units will be acquired and repurposed.

The goal of the program is to help eliminate racial disparities in homeownership in the city, as the state has one of the highest racial homeownership gaps in the country.

Prices for the houses will range from $170,000 to $275,000, which the city says are “some of the most affordable new construction homes in the Minneapolis market.” In comparison, the average home sells for $404,491 in Minneapolis.

One of the homes that was recently finished is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home made from shipping containers in north Minneapolis. Paragon Designs, the company which built the home, hopes to sell the container house in the low-to mid-$200,000 range.

Seventy percent of the homebuyers in the Minneapolis Homes program are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, while the average income for the households is roughly $60,000. A report from the city cites that only 20% of homes in the city are affordable for buyers with an income below $60,000, and less than 3% of homes are accessible to those who make less than $30,000.

Current residents of Near North, Powderhorn, Northeast, Phillips, and the Camden neighborhoods, as well as those who lived there previously dating back to 2007, will have preference to purchase half of the homes as those communities were most impacted by the 2008 housing crisis.

To ensure that the homes in the program will be affordable to buyers in the future, 70% of them will be enrolled in a shared equity homeownership model.

Homes will be available for purchase starting in 2022.