Last week, Minnesota Housing awarded more than $54 million for affordable housing developments across the state that will create 1,904 units of affordable housing. MHP is pleased that our technical assistance and policy team worked in partnership to successfully secure funding for several noteworthy projects in Northwestern Minnesota and St. Paul.
Elders Lodge – Awarded $362,785
Elders Lodge, a 43-unit property built in 1997 in St. Paul, serves low-income seniors, primarily of Native American descent. The 17 year old development suffers from poor construction standards and low-quality materials, which have accelerated the deterioration of the property. The funds awarded from Minnesota Housing will help address health and safety concerns, strengthen security, and allow for energy efficiency improvements. For example, a leaky roof has caused water damage to the walls and elevator problems, and the ventilation system requires significant improvement. Addressing these problems will ensure residents have a healthy place to live for years to come.
Working as a consultant, MHP staff have helped Elders Lodge plan for the rehabilitation of the property and apply for project funding. Construction on the property is set to begin in April 2014.
Northwestern Minnesota – Awarded $7,050,211
Job growth has caused a shortage of housing in Northwestern Minnesota, making it difficult for businesses to attract employees to the area. This year Minnesota Housing awarded a total of $7,050,211 to the region to preserve 88 affordable rental units and construct 64 new units. The funding will also help rehab 27 single-family homes and construct 5 new homes in the region.
Minnesota Housing Partnership and our colleagues at Greater Minnesota Housing Fund began working with leaders in Northwestern Minnesota in 2011. The City of Thief River Falls and Roseau County received a grant through MHP's Sustainable Communities Engagement Fund, enabling them to conduct a housing study. MHP staff facilitated a series of planning meetings to help leaders' priorities housing needs identified in the study and set development goals. Convening a meeting with Governor Dayton, Commissioner Tingerthal, and local leaders brought attention to the need for funding for affordable workforce housing. During Minnesota's 2013 legislative session, MHP & the Homes for All coalition secured $33 million boost for housing and homeless services. This included $10 million for a workforce housing pilot program.
Congratulations to these two projects, as well as all of the organizations that received funding!