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Jackson, Worthington receive funds for housing

JACKSON — The city of Jackson is receiving $847,214 —as well as $447,756 in housing tax credits — from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the city of Worthington will also be awarded $108,550 to build five new low-income, single-family homes.

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The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency awarded more than $54 million for affordable housing developments across the state on Thursday. The money will create 1,904 units of affordable housing, and support hundreds of jobs statewide.

Of that $54 million, $5 million was awarded to southwest Minnesota communities to fund six housing projects — two of those in Worthington and Jackson — through a state jobs and housing initiative that creates housing located in job growth areas hampered by critical workforce housing shortages.

“I really want to thank Worthington,” Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Commissioner Mary Tingerthal said. “I was able to visit there last December and it allowed me to meet the mayor, the Chamber of Commerce and business leaders, and hear about the housing needs. I was then able to go back to Governor Dayton and stress the resources that are needed for this area.”

The funding comes at a time when the number of Minnesotans who are paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing and available affordable housing is scarce.

“The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership applied for the 48-unit housing project funding for Jackson, and they have been a great partner and resource,” said Sue Pirsig, the City of Jackson’s Economic Development Coordinator. “I am just really excited, and this is such a positive thing for us.”

Rick Goodemann, chief executive officer for the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, which has worked with the city of Jackson and AGCO on the funding, said the new money will help support the tremendous employment growth Jackson has seen.

AGCO has also donated an additional $220,000 to the project to support an influx in workers.

“AGCO Corporation is very pleased that Jackson has been selected to receive this funding,” Director of Operations for AGCO Eric Fisher said. “As a proud citizen of Jackson, AGCO is happy to demonstrate its commitment to the community through a significant commitment of its own capital to the project. As a growing employer, we have seen the housing challenges facing the region, and are thrilled that this project will help provide additional housing options for AGCO employees.”

The 48-unit housing project in Jackson is taking a mixed-income approach. Some of the townhomes will be subsidized housing; rent will be set at an amount based on income and will not increase if a tenant’s income increases over time.

“This is crucial, especially for entry level workers coming here,” Goodemann said. “It allows them to continue to make more money, but their rent won’t increase.”

The other part of the project is an 18-townhouse project for middle- to upper-income-base tenants.

The funding couldn’t have come at a better time due to the 0-percent vacancy in Jackson.

 “We sort of were waving our hands in the air saying ‘look at us!” because southwest Minnesota has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, but yet we have no housing — this will now encourage people to come to our community and be able to stay here,” Goodemann said.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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