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Willmar HRA accepting applications from rental owners for rehab funding

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Housing and Redevelopment Authority is accepting applications through Friday from rental property owners interested in a rental property rehabilitation program.

Funding is limited. The program provides money for rehabilitation of permanent rental housing that is affordable to and occupied by low-income families.

Individuals, corporations, partnerships and nonprofit organizations that havea documented qualifying interest in the property to be rehabilitated are eligible.

Tenant incomes must be less than 60 percent of the area median income at the time of funding commitment. Funds are available through deferred loan financing or forgivable financing terms, depending in the amount of money needed. Other restrictions may apply.

The financing is provided by the federal HOME Rental Rehabilitation Program through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, said Dorothy Gaffaney, Willmar HRA executive director. The Willmar HRA has served as the program administrator in Willmar and Kandiyohi County since the program began about nine years ago.

"It is a comprehensive and complicated program to go through, but in the end it's worth the effort because it does provide needed funds to assist property owners to make improvements to their rental property,'' said Gaffaney.

A property owner seeking less than $100,000 in improvements may receive a five-year forgivable loan. The loan requires a 25 percent match from the owner toward the overall cost, and requires the owner to comply with certain restrictions. Owners are monitored to assure compliance. After the five-year period expires, the owner's responsibility under the program is satisfied, said Gaffaney.

The program is more complicated for property owners seeking more than $100,000, said Gaffaney.

A lead assessment is required if a property was constructed before 1978.

Property owners interested in the program may call the Willmar HRA, 320-235-8637, extension 8704, or stop at the office located in the Kandi-yohi County Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E., Suite 2090, in Willmar.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150