Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 14, 1999

Winsted gets funding to assist housing development

By Luis Puga

The Winsted on the Lake housing development project has received $1 million in Community Activity Set-Aside (CASA) funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

The funding was announced at the last Winsted City Council meeting.

The funds, which will be held by the state, provide low to moderate income buyers with low interest loans of 5.5 percent, said City Administrator Aaron Reeves.

The maximum amount that each potential home owner could get would be $112,500.

Reeves figures that puts the minimum amount of loans to be made at 10 since a family could cover most of the construction cost with the loan. That could bring Winsted on the Lake owner Bill Gilk to the tail end of his first phase of development.

The funding is felt to be a great development by all. The city will be happy to get new taxpayers and Gilk will sell lots.

This news comes after some concern voiced at a recent council meeting at the lack of a variety of lot prices in the city. Reeves said that the city would be more than happy to develop applications for such funding for other developers.

The monies also indicate the state's recognition of the growth potential in the area.

That potential, well discussed by area city councils and school boards, stems from movement to the outer edge of the seven-county metro area. With Carver and Wright Counties being the two fastest growing counties in the area, McLeod is in a position to grow along with them, Reeves said. Also, Hutchinson is experiencing fast growth.

Beyond just newcomers benefiting from the funding, Reeves feels there is potential for current residents of Winsted, who might be renting, to apply for the loans. This would in turn free up rental space, another added benefit to the city.

The only requirement to the potential home owner is that he/she attend a homeowners workshop called "Home Stretch."

One such program will be Saturday, June 19 at Winsted City Hall.

The money will then be provided to a designated lender, in this case, Preferred Lenders from Big Lake. The application is the same as a regular mortgage application. However, Reeves noted that the funding includes provisions for those who have had previous credit problems, but are now more reliable.

The funding also allow for families who may not have been able to previously afford single family homes, to build those in the development.

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