|NMF Program Officer- Grants, Nate Dorr|
The City of Baudette received a $12,500 grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation’s Community Planning Program to plan for future housing. Leadership from Baudette’s Mayor Rick Rhone, City Council, City Clerk Tina Rennemo, Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and other local stakeholders will create an action plan for the next two years.
The plan will focus on steps the city and its partners must take to prepare sites for new and renovated housing units. This includes working with the City of Baudette Housing and Redevelopment Authority to increase their ability to expand the housing stock.
Tax-increment financing options for multi-family housing units or development are under consideration. Public bonding for infrastructure investments will also be part of the overall strategy. Aging water and sewer lines, utilities, and communication infrastructure systems are all expected to get a makeover.
With the growth of local businesses in Lake of the Woods and Roseau Counties, the demand for housing continues to rise. But housing availability remains in very short supply. Many units for sale need rehab work, so buyers pass them by for move-in-ready homes. Yet the rising cost of new construction often leaves buyers unable to afford new construction. City leaders understand the need for all types of housing, from low-income lofts to market rate homes.
This project is a follow up to a Lake of the Woods housing study completed in 2013. The short supply of two bedroom rental units range from $300-$1,000 per month according to the study. Interview data describes the decreasing quality of rental units related to aging rentals (e.g. leaky pipes, poor insulation, flooring, etc.). When workers cannot find housing, they fill up nearby hotels and resorts meant for the growing tourist industry.
The study projected a need for 170 new housing units by the year 2020, based on household growth and replacement needs. The demand for housing would mean 8 to 10 new homes or housing units would be needed to keep up with growth projections. Planners estimate the current vacancy rate is less than 2% among the 140 rental units in the county. The study also included the need for senior housing/assisted living, as there is a high demand.
Please visit our website to learn more about NMF’s Community Planning Program.