Detroit Lakes gets $300,000 to redevelop abandoned biomass facilityThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $300,000 to the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation in Detroit Lakes to provide business financing to redevelop an abandoned commercial facility for the production of biomass heating pellets.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $300,000 to the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation in Detroit Lakes to provide business financing to redevelop an abandoned commercial facility for the production of biomass heating pellets.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the grants from HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund promote an “entrepreneurial approach” to affordable housing and economic development in rural areas.
“Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities,” said Donovan. “Because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to strengthening rural communities, this funding provides flexible resources to address either housing or economic development needs, or both. This is especially important for communities that may have more limited access to resources because of their distant locations. These are catalytic projects that will have an impact on their communities for generations to come.”
“This grant will stimulate economic growth and create jobs in Minnesota, while making use of an abandoned site and abundant supply of local resources,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator.
HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund offers grants of up to $2 million to support innovative housing and economic development activities in 19 states throughout the country. HUD received 307 applications from 48 states for over $236 million, almost 10 times the amount available. Eligible
applicants were federally recognized Indian tribes, state housing finance agencies (HFAs), state community development agencies, local rural non-profit organizations, community development
corporations or consortia of these groups. Grantees can use their grant funding to support a variety of housing and economic development activities including construction, preparation of plans, land acquisition, demolition, homeownership counseling, and financial assistance.
HUD awarded Rural Innovation Fund grants in three categories nationwide:
--Comprehensive Grants – seven grants nationwide, in which grantees have examined the social, housing and economic needs and resources of their target areas and made proposals that address these needs through activities that will have sustained benefit and resources after HUD assistance is used. The maximum grant amount was $2,000,000 for this category.
--Single Purpose Grants –31 grants nationwide, for more targeted initiatives, which typically focus primarily on either housing or economic development. The maximum award amount was $300,000 for this category. Minnesota received one single purpose grant.
--Economic Development and Entrepreneurship for Federally Recognized Tribes – 8 grants nationwide, awarded from $5 million set aside for applications for federally recognized Indian tribes. The maximum award amount was $800,000 for this category.
Highlights of the awards nationwide include:
--19 states are represented among the service areas, including Minnesota.
--27 awardees – over half – are tribes or tribal affiliates nationwide. Tribal organizations were competitive in all categories under the NOFA.
--789 housing units are proposed for low income beneficiaries nationwide.
--655 total jobs will be created through activities assisted by the grants nationwide. Jobs include 178 construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs nationwide.
--Grantees have proposed to leverage over $18 million in other funds for their respective projects.