Metro Cities Gather To Address Housing Concerns in Central Minnesota [AUDIO]
SAUK RAPIDS -- Affordable housing for those in the workforce has become a growing concern around the region.
Tonight (Tuesday) city council members and administrators from the five metro cities gathered at the Sauk Rapids Government Center looking to address this pressing issue.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Bresnahan is a member of Housing Study Task Force. He says the community housing study first came about from the St. Cloud planning project but picked up steam when local non-profits got involved.
In Central Minnesota there is a strong demand for both rental units and home ownership over the next 10-15 years.
According to an American Community Survey, taken in 2012, 26% of renters and 8% of homeowners payed more than 50% of their income for housing.
Bresnahan says that the average two-bedroom apartment costs about $723 a month and anyone working full-time making less than $14 a hour are finding it difficult to afford proper housing.
Bresnahan and other members of the Housing Study Task Force were bringing the issue to the area cities in hopes to braining storming some solutions.
Cities representatives brought many ideas to the table including looking at rehabilitating homes (which could lead to more jobs), talk to bank representatives and the Builders Association, and hold the presentation at city council meetings.
Bresnahan says while they were not looking for an answer this evening, seeing a discussion take places means the issue sparks interest.
The Housing Study Task Force hopes to add two representatives from each city to their committee to help provide ideas and come up with a potential solution.
You can see the full housing study by clicking HERE.