Lutsen to get AEOA money to rehab housing

Brian Larsen

Barbara Ackerson with the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) came before the county board on June 14 with the news that eight residential properties in Lutsen could receive rehabilitation funding.

Ackerson, the community technical assistance manager for AEOA, said properties “owned and occupied by low and moderate income homeowners” in Lutsen can receive $24,750 to rehab their houses.

An example of low-income eligibility is a family of four that lives on $48,000 or less a year.

Cook County partnered with AEOA to administer the Minnesota Small Cities Development Program application that led to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Authority (DEED) grant.

AEOA prepared and submitted an application for the grant on November 10, 2015.

Funds from a DEED grant can help homeowners who qualify for the program replace worn shingles, windows, doors, siding, etc. on a house to make it weather proof and more efficient, but the grant money can’t be used to increase the square footage of a house.

The redevelopment grant program helps communities with the cost of redeveloping blighted industrial, residential, or commercial sites and putting the land back into productive use.

To qualify, resident’s property taxes must be paid and the property must be single family home or owner occupied duplex. In a mixed-use commercial building containing an owner’s residence, the owner’s living area must contain 51 percent or more of the structure.

Local contractors that are licensed and insured will be sought to complete the work, with the homeowners having some say in who is hired to work on their residence, said Ackerson.

If qualified, candidates that stay in their homes for 10 years wouldn’t have to pay back any of the money. Should they sell their home before then, they will be charged 10 percent per year. So, if they lived in the house for five years and sold it, they would have to pay half of the money they received back.

Following the meeting with the county board Ackerson encouraged interested residents to apply for the program as soon as possible. It’s a “first come, first served” program, she said.

To receive an application you can contact Barbara Ackerson at (218) 748-7349 or email: To apply by mail write to her at 702 Third Avenue South, Virginia, MN 55792.

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