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Expanding the Horizon for Homeownership in the Twin Cities

5 Oct 2018


Housing

A decade ago, Hunde Takele arrived from Ethiopia to the Twin Cities as a “lucky winner” of the U.S. green card lottery. “It was really hard to win,” he says, not just because millions of people apply to the lottery every year, but winning meant he’d move to a new place he had no connections to. “I didn’t know much about North America,” he says, “I had no family or friends here to call and ask. There was no internet to do any research.”

He decided to move to Minnesota because he remembered studying the Mississippi River in school. Once there, he adjusted to the cold weather, the new city, and found work. He met his future wife at church, moving in with her and her two children. They had another child together, and his wife was soon pregnant with another. As Takele built his life — and worked to accommodate his growing family in a one-bedroom apartment — his desire grew to own a home. “That motivation to live the American dream was in my heart as soon as I won the lottery,” he says.

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City of Elk River Economic Development
13065 Orono Parkway | Elk River, MN  55330
phone 763.635.1000