Project gives boost to affordable housing

The affordable housing crisis has been mushrooming in this country for several years now.

According to a February Business Insider report, Americans are now spending their highest share of their incomes on mortgage payments since 2010.

Southwest Minnesota is not immune to this crisis. However, solutions may be found here.

On Wednesday, officials with United Community Action Partnership joined officials from the city of Marshall and business representatives such as Turkey Valley Farms and Ace Home and Hardware to break ground for the first of five new single-family homes planned in Marshall’s Parkway II addition. The development project is designed to address needs for affordable housing in Marshall, according to Jeff Gladis. He is the housing director at UCAP.

Gladis said the building project took a total investment of $1.1 million. Funding was gained from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

Turkey Valley Farms, a major employer in Marshall, found enough value in the project to become one of the sponsors of the project. After all, needed employees need affordable housing.

Also, the partnership with the city helped make it possible to acquire land for the homes at a reduced price.

The five homes will be built on empty residential lots near Oslo Avenue. Gladis said two houses will be built in the first phase of the project. The project calls for construction on the remaining three in the fall.

Gladis said the homes will go up for sale and UCAP will be looking at low and moderate-income families as prospective buyers.

This is an unique approach to a complex issue. And it may spur some momentum toward more housing construction in the city.