Minnesota lawmakers have allocated 1.4 billion for housing assistance over the next two years–a ninefold increase in funding that the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency will direct toward projects to stabilize existing housing and fuel the development of new affordable units, among other high priorities statewide.  

The MHFA funds are among a variety of grants that the East Range Giants Housing Committee could potentially pursue in order to build momentum for development projects in Aurora, Biwabik, Hoyt Lakes, and the Town of White. In response to the widespread housing shortages facing the East Range along with much of the rest of the nation, the committee emerged in summer 2023 when the East Range received the opportunity to participate in the Minnesota Housing Partnerahip’s Housing Institute program 

The committee is made up of seven experts in East Range housing and community development who are working with MHP Liaison Rosemary Fagrelius to tackle regional housing challenges. Upgrading older housing stock, providing more options for senior and workforce housing, and increasing the availability of units across all income levels are among the most pressing priorities the committee will focus on.   

The group has identified several approaches to potential solutions, including the creation of a local housing trust fund which could pool funding from various sources to complete meaningful projects such as workforce housing developments and affordable housing rehabilitation. We are also in the process of compiling a list of potential developers and considering ways to attract builders and incentivize projects in the area.   

You can learn more about the East Range Giants Housing Committee and get involved with these efforts. The group meets at 10 AM on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Aurora City Hall immediately following meetings of the Joint Powers Board, and all members of the public are welcome to join. Contact Team Coordinator Karl Schuettler at kschuettler@northspan.org or (218) 481-7377 for more information.