Article by: Mary Kennedy
CEDA representatives Annie Leibel and Mary Kennedy, who serve Faribault County and the City of Blue Earth respectively, worked together to write a grant request to Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA). The duo recently heard the exciting news that their request for $400,000 had been secured to assist in funding a 14-unit scattered-site, multi-family housing development project in the City of Blue Earth. The project, which has been in the planning phases for nearly a year, is scheduled to break ground sometime this spring. “The project has some really unique elements, which was at times is difficult to convey in the grant narrative. MHFA was great to work with and communicated with us to fully understand the complexities and details of our project,” said Kennedy. The developer of the project, APX Construction Group of Mankato, MN will be financing, and owning six of the 14 units, while the Blue Earth Housing and Redevelopment Authority will be financing and owning eight of the 14 units. This project has been a collaboration from the beginning; starting by taking findings from a 2019 housing study to attract a developer, to working with the developer to financially make the project feasible for both parties. New housing has been a top priority for the City Council and Blue Earth residents, and it can be difficult to finance a housing project that doesn’t negatively impact taxpayers. Leibel explained “the Workforce Housing Grant will supplement the capital needed to build out this project without any impact to tax payers, and will provide new, market rate housing for residents.” The project features a mix of rental and owner-occupied units, with a variety of amenities, and a range of price points to help accommodate any budget. The City expects the new housing options to be available for rent or purchase this fall.