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Worthington Needs More Housing



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As the city of Worthington, Minnesota has grown in size, city officials have ran into a problem, there isn’t enough houses to go around, especially for residents in need.

While there are programs like Section Eight housing, to help residents qualified under certain guidelines, there is one area of the population that still continues to struggle.

The group makes too much money for Section Eight housing, but would still be considered low income and that’s where the city of Worthington is stepping in to help.
     
"We're experiencing the growth," said Chapulis.

Bradley Chapulis, director of community development said the city has been working to keep up with the high demand.

"We've done studies every three years which illustrates the housing needs for the community," said Chapulis.

With help from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, the city plans to add what's called “market-rate” housing, which is affordable living, for low-income renters.

The plan is to build six apartment complexes that would hold six units each and the apartments would be a combination of both two and three bedroom units.

Rosie Rogers, Director of the H-R-A, has been in the business for 28 years, and said she plans to retire soon, but before she does, she hopes these housing additions become a reality.

"This is the time, that either you move forward or you try it and say, I guess it didn't work," said Rogers.

Rogers specifically deals with subsidized and Section Eight housing, which is based on income, but on a weekly basis, she said she turns nearly 15 people away who don't qualify for government-assisted living.

"I'm sorry but the programs we currently have, don't fit any of yours," said Rogers.

Meaning, they usually fit in the “market-rate” category and make too much for certain government programs.

Bottom line, she said waiting lists for housing continues to increase with the growing population.

"Things can change for each and every one of us and find ourselves on the list looking for something and needs some help," said Rogers.

The city is in the preliminary stages right now and several different locations for the complex are being considered, but construction is said to begin in the spring of 2013.

Wells Fargo donated $10,000.00 to the new housing program and the city is also looking for local contributions to help fund the cost.
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