State Allocates Money to Rochester for Affordable Housing

October 20, 2017 11:00 PM

(ABC6 News) -- Rochester city leaders have been trying to tackle the need for more affordable housing for years.

On Monday, the city council will review recommendations to boost the number of units available in future developments.


However, this week, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency approved some money for Rochester to already start helping this issue.

It announced it will be allocating money to go towards two projects for affordable housing.

Barbara Andrew, a member of Communities United for Rochester empowerment says it’s something she’s happy to hear.

“I keep hearing that it's been this way for years, what do you do? I think we need to start taking action on it. And this is an incredible start," said Andrew. 

Steve Borchardt, the Housing Initiative director for Rochester area foundation its two awards “One was for I believe four percent tax credit financing for a project at the Hylands. That is a rehabilitation project."

The other project will be built from the ground up near the intersection of Harvest View Drive and at 55th street Northwest.

Borchardt says it will add 60 apartments, "these are targeted at people that make 60 percent of area median income. Roughly $40,000 a year or less." 

It’s a move, Andrew says has been a long time coming, “I think we need to be the beacon for the country. I want everyone across the county to say well Rochester took care of this. Rochester is the one that changed it. What an incredible city. No wonder they're number one.”

Construction on the new complex is to start in the spring.

"From the time they start building to the time that they can start receiving renters is probably going to be 18 months to two years,” said Borchardt.

However, Andrew says it may just be a short-term fix to a far more complicated issue.

"This is a beautiful start but it's a drop in the bucket. Instead of saying this is their problem or our problem, we need to come together and address it cause it's all of our issues and it just gonna make this beautiful city that we have not as incredible as it could be," said Andrew.

The Housing Initiative director says it depends on the configuration but the new housing building should be able to house a couple hundred people.

Money will also go toward affordable housing development in Clarks Grove.


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