What is A Brush with Kindness?

We believe that every family should have the opportunity to affordably maintain and preserve their home. But many situations can create barriers for you to keep up with repairs, including unexpected life events or loss of income. Our paint and repair program provides health and safety repairs that can help you maintain a safe and stable home. That’s why more than 2,000 local families have partnered with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's A Brush with Kindness program!

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The A Brush with Kindness program focuses on exterior painting, and health and safety repairs. Our home repair program utilizes a combination of volunteers and contractors to help homeowners affordably maintain their homes.

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What we do

  • Exterior painting
  • Carpentry repairs (rotten sills, entry stairs, etc.)
  • Roofing, siding, doors, windows*
  • Tree trimming/removal
  • Safety and accessibility modifications (ramps and handrails)
  • General exterior yard cleanup (does not include regular lawn care or snow removal)
  • Interior health and safety repairs (handrails, grab bars, flooring)
  • Mechanical system repairs (electrical, plumbing, heating)*

    *Contingent on available resources
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What we don't do

  • Emergency repairs
  • Driveway paving
  • Cosmetic repairs (remodeling/interior painting)
  • Large structural repairs (foundations, waterproofing, etc.)
  • Building additions (rebuilding garage, finishing basements or attics)
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Who is Eligible?

  • Home is in 7-county Twin Cities metro area
  • Owner occupied for at least the last 2 years and have homeowners insurance
  • Household income below 80% of Twin Cities median income
  • Needed repairs match what ABWK does
  • Cannot have received assistance through ABWK in the past 2 years
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What does it cost?

A Brush with Kindness repairs are affordable. You have two repayment options:

1) 2-year, monthly repayment plan that is customized for your affordability

  • Payments dependent on ability to repay, but will not exceed $250 per month. Discount if you select this option!

2) 10-year forgivable mortgage, no monthly payments

  • Mortgage amount declines by 1/10 each year
A Brush With Kindness is not currently accepting applications.

Applications are taken for a limited time annually. When you submit an eligible application, Habitat staff will visit your home to understand your repair needs. Habitat staff, volunteers, and/or contractors will complete your repairs as soon as we are able with the resources we receive.

Applications are considered first-come, first-served until the deadline has been met or until all available resources have been committed - whichever occurs first. Space is limited, keep an eye on the website for program updates.

Please contact us at abwk@tchabitat.org or call 612-788-8169 with any questions you might have about the program.

Get program updates

Additional Resources

Do you have an immediate repair need? Consider reaching out to other organizations to inquire about available assistance.  Disclaimer: The resources described below are suggestions for further investigation and are not recommendations. Each organization must be contacted to receive accurate information regarding services provided, requirement and qualifications.

Minnesota Community Action Partnership

Local Community Action Agencies (CAAs) offer custom programs to meet the unique needs of their communities, but they do share common goals. The programs offered help and encourage children and youth development, support people experiencing poverty, provide aid in times of crisis, sustain and honor senior citizens and people with disabilities, and strengthen families and communities. Programs may include: Energy and Utility Assistance, Eviction Prevention, Home Rehabilitation & Repair, Mortgage Assistance, Senior Independent Living Services (SAIL), Weatherization.

NeighborWorks Home Partners

Works with homeowners on a variety of projects: correcting mandatory rehab problems such as roofs, furnaces, and exterior painting; making a home more suitable for a family by adding bathrooms or accessibility modifications; or for some clients, we can assist in aesthetic home improvement projects. Generally, qualifying repairs will be those that improve the safety of the home and the health of the people who live there. Available for homeowners throughout Minnesota, with emphasis on Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities. We also work with municipalities, neighborhood associations, and community councils to provide community-specific programs. The terms of your home improvement package will depend on which product you qualify for. Some have no payments due until the house is sold. Some of our customers qualify for programs where they make an affordable payment at a low interest rate.

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together Twin Cities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and our mission is repairing homes, revitalizing communities,  rebuilding lives. We serve low-income homeowners who are seniors, individuals living with disabilities, families with children, and veterans and their families in need. Services may include: exterior ramp construction, exterior painting.

Center for Energy & Environment (CEE)

Through the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency, CEE offers low interest home energy loans for Minnesota homeowners to make energy improvements in their homes. Loan funds are subject to availability. Energy improvements may include: furnace, central A/C, water heater, window replacement, light fixtures, insulation.

Sustainable Resource Center

Our programs include Weatherization; Lead hazard control, risk assessments, inspections and rehabilitation; Radon testing and mitigation; Mold education and remediation, as well as Healthy Homes and building science related training for homeowners and professionals.

Northeast Youth & Family Services (NYFS)

Ramsey & Washington County Area Chore services for any person that is 60 years old and lives within the areas that we serve: Arden Hills, Birchwood Village, Falcon Heights, Hugo, Little Canada, Mahtomedi, Mounds View, New Brighton, North Oaks, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Anthony, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Township. The program pairs youth or adult workers with seniors that are in need of indoor or outdoor chore services. NYFS will pay the worker and will ask you to contribute a cost share amount according to your income. Payment is a donation and not a bill.

Senior Community Services

Hennepin County & West Metro Area Chore services for any person aged 60 and over, regardless of income, residing in our service area. Our home chore services cover the cities of: Albertville, Big Lake, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Buffalo, Crystal, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Elk River, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenwood, Hanover, Hopkins, Long Lake, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Monticello, Mound, New Hope, Orono, Osseo, Otsego, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Michael, St. Louis Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, Woodland. We offer affordable services based on a sliding fee scale. This means seniors contribute to the cost of the service based on their monthly income and ability to pay. We may be able to accept some insurance payments, Elderly Waiver or the Alternative Care Grant for some of our services. Caregivers can also pay for the services provided.

211 United Way

United Way 2-1-1 provides free and confidential health and human services information for people in Minnesota. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to connect you with the resources and information you need. Program referrals may include: Energy and Utility Assistance, Eviction Prevention, Home Rehabilitation & Repair, Mortgage Assistance, Senior Independent Living Services (SAIL), Weatherization.


Thinking of DIY? Check out the Restore

The ReStore is a home improvement outlet open to the public. Shop for quality donated home furnishings, furniture, and building supplies at a fraction of the original cost. It’s the perfect place for bargain seekers and DIYers to shop and find great deals for everything from small projects to large home remodeling updates.