Dreaming of building a brand-new house or fixing up your existing home?

The City of Osakis and Minnesota Housing may be able to help.

The city is encouraging Osakis residents to participate in the Community Housing Assistance Program, which is available to qualified citizens who live in the portion of town in Douglas County to rehabilitate existing homes that need exterior remodel/improvements, demolition or acquisition or even to help build a new home.

The Osakis Economic Development Authority has funds available to improve your house with a match of 50% up to $10,000.

These improvements can be for windows, siding, roof and energy efficiencies.

The EDA approved to allocate $75,000 more dollars to help Osakis residents improve their home in 2020.

This program was put in place to help update Osakis and renew the community, according to city leaders.

Funds are given as a forgivable loan, so if you live in your property for seven years, the loan is forgiven. If you live in your property and leave before seven years, the amount is prorated each year you did live in the home.

The program is only available for owner-occupied housing. If you are interested or want more information, visit www.cityofosakis.com look for the forms and information in the middle of the front page or call Osakis City Hall at 320-859-2150.

One key condition: The project must be completed within one year of the approval date.

Here are the grant matching project maximums: $5,000 toward the tear-down on a lot; $10,000 toward remodeling costs; and $15,000 to build a new home in Osakis.

Family size of one or two people must have a household income of less than $91,800 to qualify.

Family size of three or more people must have a household income of less than $105,570 to qualify.

Minnesota Housing has more than $52 million available to provide affordable mortgages to first-time homebuyers through a collaboration with Minnesota cities and counties, including $100,000 for Osakis.

Homebuyers can take advantage of these resources through the Minnesota Housing Start Up loan program, which offers fixed interest rates and downpayment and closing cost loans up to $15,000 for eligible first-time homebuyers.

Buyers can purchase homes in Osakis that cost up to $283,300. Income limits vary by location and household size, going up to $105,570.

Minnesota Housing is a state agency that provides access to safe and affordable housing and builds stronger communities across the state. It offers purchase, refinance and home improvement loans, as well as financing for affordable rental housing throughout the state.

“Community partnerships between Minnesota Housing and City of Osakis, Osakis Economic Development Authority (EDA) and local lenders help over 2,000 households a year purchase their first homes,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho. “These affordable loans make homeownership more accessible for more Minnesotans.”

First-time buyers can get started by contacting participating lenders in the Osakis area. Visit www.mnhousing.gov for a full list of approved lenders, current interest rates, and program eligibility.