This article is a follow up to last week’s article on affordable housing in Montevideo.

 

This article is a follow up to last week’s article on affordable housing in Mon­te­video. This week’s article takes a look at the city of Montevideo’s efforts to promote affordable housing.

According to Angie Steinbach, assistant city manager of Montevideo, “Montevideo continues to promote the availability of affordable ownership opt­ions in the city and utilizes available assistance programs for homeowners.”

Over the years, the city has been pro-active in its efforts to make sure that there are housing opportunities for low to moderate income individuals and families.

The city has worked in the past with the SW MN Housing Partnership, as well as other agencies, in promoting home ownership. This year, city staff is looking into doing another Small Cities Development Program with the Prairie Five Community Action Council.

Funds for a program of this type are provided by the Department of Employment  and Economic Development and are intended to help low and  moderate income persons rehabilitate their homes.

Steinbach said, “The funds are deferred over a seven to 10 year period and are completely forgiven if the applicant lives in their home as their principal place of residence for the length of the term.” Steinbach added that  an owner occupied commercial and rental small cities grant program application will likely be submitted by the city sometime soon.

“Montevideo has  a successful past history in developing high quality rental housing at an affordable price,” said Steinbach.

The city’s Economic Development Authority constructed 68 units between 1994 and 2001. Although most of  those units  have been sold over the years to for-profit and non-profit entities, Ashmore Place and Ashmore South are still publicly owned.

A growing demand for rental housing in Monte­video has seen many owner occupied homes switch to rental homes.

“With the growing de­mand from renter households, but almost no new construction activity over the past 15 years, vacancy rates have remained low,” said Steinbach. In fact, research in 2014 found that the vacancy rate in Monte­video for all homes was only 3.9 percent.

In 2005, 2009 and 2014, telephone surveys recorded full occupancy and waiting lists at Ashmore Place, Ashmore South, Meadow­lands, and Paulson Park I and II. Those EDA-developed units represent the newest rental housing in the city.

It is encouraging to know that the city is aware of the need for affordable housing in Montevideo. The fact that they are looking into doing a Small Cities Development program and applying for a  commercial and rental small cities grant program offers up hope for city residents who may be looking for housing options in the future.


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