The Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority has been providing affordable housing for many people and continues to work with other agencies to bring more affordable housing to the county. In 2018 the following occurred:
- Community Housing Partnership was completed
- Olmsted sought and received a $1million renovation grant to preserved existing housing stock
- Established a partnership with the Jeremiah project to fund housing for several participants
- Participated in the coalition for Rochester Area Housing
- Determined that a site on Mayowood Road could be used to build affordable housing units
- Added new clients to the Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Developed a program to mitigate landlord risk so that apartments could become available to low-income renters.
- Participated through a county board member in the Governor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing
- Made a partnership with Rochester Energy Commission to reduce low-income renters water and electricity usage saving the average person $154/years
- Installed basketball hoops and modest playground equipment to enrich the lives of children living in low-income housing areas.
As the County’s involvement in low-cost housing increases so does the need for planning for new housing projects, management of current housing, overseeing rehabilitation projects, increasing efforts for grant writing and planning for property development projects. There is also staffing costs that are associated with a well run Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
To fund HRA and allow for the staffing needs as well as developing low-income housing projects I supported a moderate HRA levy increase. The levy increase will add $750,000 to the current annual levy. For a house valued at $250,000 the annual levy increase will be approximately $9.75 (Source: OCHRA staff)
There is much more that needs to be done to increase the affordable housing stock on Olmsted County. Building units is one option but to make housing affordable I also support examining building codes to insure that that do not add unnecessary costs and revamping zoning to allow for “apartments” for elderly family members.