Addressing the Need for Affordable Housing in Southeast Minnesota

May 15, 2017 05:42 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Affordable housing is a topic on the minds of many local leaders, and as Rochester and Southeast Minnesota continues to grow that topic is a top priority.

“Workforce development is a huge issue for our entire economic region," said Steve Borchardt with the Rochester Area Foundation.


Concerned members of the public, city leaders and businesses all gathered Monday to discuss issues with affordable housing and how other communities can work together to solve the problem.

"Hopefully there can be some take away from this that help communities move forward with their housing needs," said Albert Lea City Manager, Chad Adams.

Adams says Albert Lea is seeing growth in the need for single family homes, but there's still more work to be done.

"Our biggest challenge has been for the last number of years, market rate rental housing for teachers coming to the community, physicians, physicians assistants," said Adams. 

Albert Lea businesses say they're having a hard time bringing in new employees because of the lack of available, affordable housing.

Borchardt said right now in Olmsted County, if your household income is $60,000 or less, you're probably going to have a tough time finding a place to live.

"At a two-bedroom apartment, the going rate in Olmsted county is somewhere between $900 and $1,000 a month, so it is extremely tight. Many, many renting families are paying up to 50% of their monthly gross for a place to live," said Borchardt.


Marissa Collins

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