Shortages persist, but low-income housing projects in MN are surfacing
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Estimates show Minnesota is short 100,000 housing units for low-income populations. To help meet demand, some poverty-fighting offices are playing a role in getting more projects off the ground.
The housing estimate is from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.
Jenny Larson, executive director of Three Rivers Community Action in southeastern Minnesota, said their needs assessments consistently have housing at the top of the list. Her staff has teamed up with the city of Northfield and other partners on a new set of townhomes. With many people still priced out of the rental market, she pointed out the project aims to give low-to-moderate income applicants a much-needed option.
"This project really is meant to provide more family units that have price points -- rent levels -- that people can afford," Larson explained.
Larson added the 32 new townhomes were not just built with availability in mind. They were designed for ideal family livability, including being near parks and schools. She emphasized the housing industry and other stakeholders need to act with more urgency to spur additional development with demand showing no signs of slowing down.
Temporary housing is also getting priority. In northeastern Minnesota, the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency has refurbished a memory care facility to serve as a homeless shelter.
Angie Neal, housing director for the agency, said they've been turning at least 1,000 people away each year at other shelter locations and their new space gives people time to make an easier transition.
"Having a place where it's safe and our case managers are able to stay in contact with them is really helpful for when we're able to connect them to other services and to get them into housing," Neal stressed.
She noted when temperatures drop, the space will be vital so unhoused people will not be forced to stay with friends and family, potentially jeopardizing their housing situation if strict rental policies are involved.
Lori Schultz, executive director of the Minnesota Community Action Partnership, said additional state and federal funding would advance more much-needed developments.
"We've definitely moved the needle in this state," Schultz asserted. "Securing funding for new housing, but there are so many regions that continue to be unfunded."
get more stories like this via email
Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The Pit …
Every state has been screening newborns for several decades, usually performing a heel-prick blood test, a hearing test and a heart check. Several …
Maine could become the first state in the nation to provide public funding to candidates seeking the office of district attorney. Lawmakers are …
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to list Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. With it comes guidelines for how the …
Student loan borrowers of all ages in Nevada and around the country have an opportunity to have their student loans canceled or the chance to receive …
Early voting for primaries in Michigan began this weekend. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in a change from Democratic support, urged voters to block …
Health and Wellness
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and young people often find it hard to navigate experiences of harm…
Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …