Experts estimate that only 10 percent of Minnesota Somali families own their home. A contract for deed has offered a pathway out of overcrowded apartments and subsidized housing. Credit: Drew Arrieta | Sahan Journal

If you are struggling to pay off your home through a contract for deed, Sahan Journal and ProPublica would like to hear about your experience. Email the authors at and

If you bought your home through a contract for deed and can’t make the payments, help may be available through the following agencies and nonprofit organizations: 

  • Home Help MN is a Minnesota state government program that provides up to $50,000 in assistance to low-income homeowners having trouble with their monthly payments.  Apply online or call Home Help MN at (800) 388-3226.

  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, which offers free legal advice and representation to underserved communities, “has lawyers lined up” ready to talk with homebuyers who have contracts for deed, said Legal Aid Litigation Director Luke Grundman. Call Legal Aid by phone at (612) 334-5970, email, or visit online

Immigrants seeking general education and help on the homebuying process can also access the following resources:

  • African Development Center of Minnesota offers education courses for first-time homebuyers tailored to African immigrants and refugees. The courses are designed to give people tips on tasks like how to find financing for a home. The nonprofit is based in Minneapolis and has offices in St. Cloud and Willmar. Enrollment costs $40.

  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) offers a Home Stretch workshop that guides first-time Latino homebuyers through what the purchase process will look like. People who finish the class will receive a certificate giving them access to down-payment assistance programs in the future. Courses cost $40 to attend and are offered in Spanish. Apply here.

  • NeighborWorks Home Partners also offers Home Stretch workshops for first-time homebuyers. Courses at the St. Paul-based organization cost $40 and are offered in English. NeighborWorks also provides options in Hmong and Karen. Apply here


Joey Peters is a reporter for Sahan Journal. He has been a journalist for 15 years. Before joining Sahan Journal, he worked for close to a decade in New Mexico, where his reporting prompted the resignation...