$8 million fully funds affordable housing in Rochester | KAALTV.com

$8 million fully funds affordable housing in Rochester

Updated: December 03, 2019 09:27 AM
Created: December 02, 2019 06:56 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The state of Minnesota invested hundreds of millions of dollars in 74 housing developments statewide. One of those is slated for Rochester and fully funded by the state for $8 million.

“Housing takes time to develop, but projects like this help to find housing for people who might otherwise not have a place to live,” said Dave Dunn, Executive Director of the Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Finding affordable housing is a challenge for too many in Rochester, but for those who struggle with mental illness and are homeless, it’s been nearly impossible.

“The need is huge. Recently, in the last couple of weeks, we completed our homeless registry. We found out there were approximately 123 people who are homeless and unsheltered right now in Olmsted County, which was double what we expected,” Dunn said.

Next fall, the ground is set to break on a new option in Southwest Rochester, called Mayowood Apartments, which will fill that gap for the community’s most vulnerable.

“Calls of people in crisis is the primary, it has become the primary response call that we go to,” said Captain Stilwell of the Rochester Police Department.

With the number of people experiencing homelessness and mental illness increasing, police are often the people called.

“We’ve trained our officers to deal with people in crisis, but ultimately it’s not a law enforcement problem. Law enforcement and enforcement of the law isn’t the answer, and sometimes just the fact that we show up in uniform triggers even worse behavior,” Stilwell said.

Mayowood Apartments will have 30 units of permanent supportive housing, with resources like therapy on-site, and it will sit on land the county already owns.

“We place people and don’t deal with their issues, they end up right back in the skyway or living in the park or experiencing homelessness,” Stilwell said.

With Mayowood Apartments on its way, soon they’ll have a place to call home. The county will make $300,000 from the project, selling the land to Center City Housing, a Duluth-based development company that works on affordable housing projects. Residents will pay 30 percent of their income towards rent. 

For a full list of state-funded housing projects, click here.

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