Grant awarded to expand housing opportunities in southwest Minn.
WILLMAR -- The West Central Association of Realtors has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Housing Opportunity Program of the National Association of Realtors to support activities that create and expand affordable housing opportunities. The g...
WILLMAR - The West Central Association of Realtors has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Housing Opportunity Program of the National Association of Realtors to support activities that create and expand affordable housing opportunities.
The grant will be used to institute a coordinated entry system for the Southwest Minnesota Continuum of Care housing services group, along with advertising, promoting and implementing the initiative.
The goal of the initiative is to change the way people access and receive homelessness prevention assistance, temporary shelter, transitional housing, rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing in the region. The region comprises approximately 250,000 people in 18 counties.
The grant will help raise awareness about the need for more housing opportunities, as well identify and promote solutions that address affordable housing.
The grant will help create a well-advertised, regionwide coordinated entry system, which is necessary for the Continuum of Care to continue receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A coordinated entry system will help use resources more intelligently and streamline the transition from housing crisis to home.
Over the last five years the Continuum of Care has reduced homelessness in the region from 174 households to 77 households.
The National Association of Realtors established its housing opportunity grant program in 2006. Individual grants are awarded 10 times per year. Since the program's inception, over 400 grants totaling more than $1.5 million have been awarded.
The grants support a wide range of housing opportunity activities, including housing symposia; home buyer education or housing fairs; counseling and financial literacy efforts; down payment or closing cost financial assistance programs; housing needs studies; and affordable housing education.