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Making a home in Marshall

UCAP and area partners break ground for new affordable housing

Photo by Deb Gau Representatives from United Community Action Partnership, the city of Marshall, Turkey Valley Farms, and Ace Home and Hardware broke ground for a new affordable housing development in Marshall on Wednesday. UCAP plans to build a total of five single-family homes, for low and moderate-income families.

MARSHALL — United Community Action Partnership helps provide a long list of needed services in southwest Minnesota, including services related to housing. But, Jeff Gladis said, this was something different for the organization: actually building new houses.

On Wednesday, Gladis, the housing director at UCAP, came together with other representatives from UCAP, the city of Marshall, Turkey Valley Farms, and Ace Home and Hardware in Marshall, to break ground for the first of five new single-family homes planned in Marshall’s Parkway II addition. The development project will help address needs for affordable family housing in Marshall, Gladis said.

“Hopefully, this will be the start of something bigger,” said area Economic Development Authority Director Cal Brink, speaking before the groundbreaking ceremony.

The building project has been more than a year in the making, Gladis said, and took a total investment of more than $1.1 million. Last year, UCAP applied for — and received — funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to help build the homes. However, that could never have happened without support, from partners like the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and an area business. Gladis and Marshall City Council member John DeCramer said one important part of the application’s success was the sponsorship of Turkey Valley Farms.

“As an employer, we see the need” for more available housing in the Marshall area, said Scott Rowe of Turkey Valley Farms. Partnering with UCAP on the housing development was one way to help meet those workforce needs.

Gladis said a partnership with the city of Marshall also helped make it possible for UCAP to acquire land for the homes at a reduced price.

A total of five single-family homes will be built over the next year, on empty residential lots near Oslo Avenue, Gladis said. Two houses will be built in the first phase of the project, and UCAP hopes to start construction on the remaining three this fall. Ace was awarded bids to build the first two homes, he said. Bidding for the second phase of the project will likely start later this summer.

Once they’re built, Gladis said the homes will go up for sale. UCAP will be looking at low and moderate-income families as prospective buyers, he said.

Although the building phase has just begun, the development project has already gotten some interest from local residents. Rowe said he’s already been approached by Turkey Valley employees with questions about the planned houses.

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