Outside Funding Sources Important Tool in Swift County’s Housing Toolkit

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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Swift County’s Rural Development Authority (RDA) and Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) applied for $500,000 from Minnesota Housing Finance Authority’s Rental Rehabilitation Deferred Loan Program (RRDL). The funding helps owners of small to medium rental properties located outside of the five-county metropolitan area to finance moderate rehabilitation of structurally sound residential rental units. If the application is successful the money will enable the Swift County HRA to rehabilitate 15-20 unitsJennifer Frost and Vicki Syverson review components of a housing grant of rental property while maintaining rents that are affordable for Swift County residents. Winners of funding will be announced in March 2020.

“The program is extremely competitive and a few things will need to fall into place for us to win and accept the deferred loan if chosen.” Says Vicki Syverson, Executive Director of Swift County HRA.  “Both the HRA and RDA have made it a priority to bring in resources to address Swift County’s housing needs, so we are taking action and going for it.” 

Jennifer Frost, Executive Director, Swift County RDA agreed explaining, “It’s been difficult to attract new housing development given the costs to build against our market rents and sales prices so we have really gone after rehab dollars to improve the homes we have. Increasing the quality of our housing stock provides more options for families looking to live in Swift County. More options can help businesses attract employees they need to our communities.”

The RRDL application is one of two large funding opportunities that the RDA and HRA have applied for this year. In May the duo submitted application to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines requesting $479,000 to rehabilitate owner-occupied homes throughout Swift County.

“We learned about the FHLB program during our participation in the Minnesota Housing Partnership’s Housing Institute in 2017-2018, and we were lucky to find we had a FHLB member bank in Swift County.”, said Frost. Financial Security Bank in Kerkhoven is a member of the FHLB and reviewed and authorized the Swift County application. Federal Home Loan Banks are a government-sponsored network or 11 regional banks that support their members with mortgage lending and community reinvestment.

The rehab funds requested from FHLB are similar to funding offered through the Small Cities Development Program. “The difference with the FHLB funding is we can make the program available to home owners who live in townships too.”, says Syverson. “This is something we’ve been unable to do with the Small Cities program.” Cities of Appleton, Benson, Kerkhoven and Murdock have all been past recipients for both commercial and owner-occupied rehab through the Small Cities program. Kerkhoven and DeGraff have owner-occupied home rehab funds available now until 2022 or until funding runs out. Swift County will find out if they won FHLB grant this December.

For information on participating in the Kerkhoven or DeGraff Rehab Program Contact Vicki Syverson, Swift County HRA at 320-843-4676.

Category: Housing, Grants, Swift County