Senator Smith visits Owatonna company making affordable housing

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(ABC 6 News) – One of Minnesota’s youngest housing manufacturing companies was visited by Minnesota Senator Tina Smith on Tuesday.

Smith toured RISE Modular, a company that manufactures modular units for housing developments and the company recently received federal funding.

RISE Modular received approximately $24.8 million from the Inflation Reduction Act, American Rescue Plan Act and Solar Tax Credits to help construct 16 new modular homes spread throughout Minneapolis. The project is in partnership with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to help provide more homes for low income families.

“This innovation and construction is going to make it possible for the people that live in Minneapolis public housing to have places that are really worthy,” said Smith.

RISE Modular is based out of Minneapolis and moved their manufacturing facility to Owatonna in late 2019. There they have added over 200 jobs to the manufacturing field in Owatonna to build these modular homes for low income families in the Twin Cities.

While the majority of their projects are still based in the Metro, RISE has already begun to expand them into greater Minnesota. Partnering with Hilton Hotels, RISE broke ground the new location for a Home2 Suites in Owatonna on June 8. The building will be made up of 56 mods and contain 84 hotel rooms.

“Home2Suites will be our first of hopefully many projects in greater Minnesota and southern Minnesota in particular,” said Christian Lawrence, CEO of RISE Modular. “But there’s certainly demand for housing everywhere, not only throughout southern Minnesota and greater Minnesota but throughout the nation. And the vision and the goal has always been to prove the concept here and expand throughout.”

To help the expansion for RISE grow, Senator Smith plans to bring back details of what she saw in Owatonna on Tuesday to her colleagues in Washington.

“I want to make sure that federal law is supporting this kind of innovation and also as we think about addressing that supply of housing challenge we have that this is part of the solution,” said Smith.

The Home2Suites construction in Owatonna will take nine months to complete.