Greater MN Communities Awarded Grants for Housing and Infrastructure Improvements
Twenty-six communities in Greater Minnesota are getting development grants for housing and infrastructure improvements totaling more than $14 million.
The grants, which range from $224,250 (for Big Lake) to $1.05 million (for Dalton), are federal dollars managed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development as part of their Small Cities Development Program.
Nearly all of the communities are using all or a portion of their funds for the rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing, which can be provided as loans. Several plan to use the money to improve commercial properties or services like wastewater treatment and streetscaping. One city, Glenwood, will also provide funds for rental housing rehab.
“These grants provide an important investment in Greater Minnesota communities,” DEED commissioner Shawnterra Hardy said in a statement. “This funding will provide access to better housing and improved commercial buildings.”
Cities must have fewer than 50,000 people and counties must have fewer than 200,000 people to be eligible for the grants. The projects must also meet one of three objectives: benefit people of low and moderate incomes, eliminate slum and blight conditions or eliminate urgent threats to public health or safety.
Greater Minnesota’s housing stock was the subject of a TCB feature story last September, which examined how acute shortages in remote parts of the state were adversely affecting economic outcomes.