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Boreal Community Media

Workforce housing underway in Grand Marais

Sep 29, 2017 09:11AM ● By Editor
There will be an official groundbreaking celebration to mark the beginning of Phase I of the workforce housing project. This event is scheduled for Monday, October 2 at 4 p.m. Nordic Star is located on West Second Street near 11th Avenue West. It is immediately west of, and adjacent to, Homestead Cooperative. Local leaders and elected officials will be at the groundbreaking celebration to make a few remarks. Photo courtesy of the EDA 

By Brian Larsen of the Cook County News Herald - September 29, 2017

“Clearing of the land has begun at our Grand Marais workforce housing project,” said Cook County/Grand Marais EDA Director Mary Somnis.

This past week woods adjacent and to the west of Homestead Cooperative in Grand Marais have been opened up to make room for four modular homes.

The workforce housing is being constructed and sold through One Roof Community Housing out of Duluth. One Roof Housing, working with the EDA, purchased the property from the Johnson Trust.

There will be two price points geared toward folks earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income and 115 percent of the Area Median Income, which translates to prices under $150,000 and under $225,000.

Higher priced homes will have three bedrooms, one bath with some upgrades and a two-stall garage. Lower priced homes will have three bedrooms, one bath, and a 10x10 shed.

The houses are chalet style or bungalow style with vaulted ceilings over the living/dining area. There are two bedrooms up, one bedroom down. They will have maintenance free siding, and should not need to be re-painted for several decades. 

All residences are Community Land Trust homes, which means they will be permanently affordable but the homeowner does not own the land. Homeowners cannot convert the houses to rentals or vacation rentals. The first buyer and every subsequent buyer must be income qualified and must own and occupy the home, said One Roof Director Cliff Knettel. 

Other than the transfer of ownership and resale restrictions, following local planning, zoning, land use codes, local wetland regulations, etc. there are no other restrictions as to what they (homeowners) do with the property. They own the home and accessory structures and lease the land. They can do as other property owners do and pay taxes the same as if it were a non-community trust home, said Knettel. 

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