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State commissioners target $10 million to cities with housing shortages for workers

With housing shortages in some Minnesota cities hurting job growth efforts, the Legislature has put $10 million into a Housing and Job Growth Initiative, and two state commissioners are in Roseau Wednesday talking about ways to use the money.

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben and Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal talked about using some of the money in Roseau, where officials estimate an additional 367 housing units will be needed by 2020. Polaris is a major employer in Roseau.

Sieben said in a statement:

“For some communities in Minnesota, support for housing is an important and timely investment for supporting job growth and developing a strong workforce. We know that companies in Roseau and other northwestern Minnesota communities are growing. Stable, affordable housing is critical to their success and future growth.” 

State officials said housing shortages are also predicted in other small cities with major employers, such as Thief River Falls (Digi-Key and Arctic Cat), Warroad (Marvin Windows), Jackson (AGCO) and Worthington (JBS Swift & Co.).

The housing fund, which requires matching money from employers and other non-state resources, distributes interest-free deferred loans, repayable in 30 years, for building or rehabbing rental or owner-occupied housing. DEED and Minnesota Housing will “identify top job-growth areas of the state where more housing is needed and to promote the initiative with local employers,” officials said.

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