REGIONAL — Select homes and homeowners in four area communities were recently awarded financial assistance through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Small Cities Development Program to undergo needed rehabilitation projects.

Qualifying owners of dwellings in Luverne, Rushmore, Chandler and Lake Wilson will receive financial assistance to make infrastructure repairs to their homes.

Rushmore’s $287,940 grant, and a $414,000 grant split between Chandler and Lake Wilson will help fund owner-occupied housing rehabilitation projects. Luverne’s $534,940 award will help finance multi-family rental rehabilitation improvements.

Part of the Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Small Cities Development Program assists with housing rehabilitation projects in communities with fewer than 50,000 residents and counties with fewer than 200,000 residents.

According to Rushmore Mayor Scott Biesemeier, about a dozen Rushmore homeowners that have applied are slated to receive financial assistance through the program. He said the program helps with furnace, electrical, window, roof and siding repairs, as well as other projects.

Biesemeier said the program is a benefit to younger folks who want to make upgrades to older homes.

“It certainly helps the curb appeal of the whole town,” he added.

In Luverne, grant dollars will be used at the Luverne Housing and Redevelopment Authority's Blue Mound Tower.

Funding will assist in addressing what city administrator John Call describes as important life and safety elements at the 70-unit affordable housing complex at 216 N. McKenzie St., Luverne.

"I’m happy we’ve been awarded the money here in Luverne," Call said.

Objectives of the program are to benefit people of low and moderate incomes, eliminate slum and blight conditions and eliminate an urgent threat to public health or safety.

The City of Windom was a 2018 grant recipient. They were awarded $418,600 for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.