More future housing needed

The Minneota EDA (Economic Development Authority) has been awaiting the Minneota Housing Market Analysis and finally it has arrived. In order to proceed with planning housing for the future, the EDA has been awaiting the report.

Jay Thompson gave the report from Viewpoint Consulting Group, Inc., and made it clear, “The going has been tough since the down turn (in the economy).”

Minneota’s population is projected to remain stable through 2030 — with a slight upturn from 1,390 people to a projected 1,410 in 2030.

“However, there is potential for Minneota to exceed its 2020 and 2030 projections by adding new housing that either draws people into the community or retains those who otherwise may move to housing outside the community,” Thompson said.

Over the next 13 years, the figures say Minneota will have a 2.9 percent — or 40 person increase in population.

“The growth will likely lead to demand for one-level, and/or maintenance free housing as some empty-nesters and retirees seek to move from their single-family homes,” Thompson said, quoting the recent report. Minneota’s household base is projected to grow from 580 in 2015 to 615 in 2030.

However, the fact is Minneota has 441 jobs (as of 2016). Marshall is the largest employment center in Lyon County, with an estimated 11,254 jobs and, “It’s estimated twice as many Minneota residents work in Marshall than in Minneota,” said Thompson.

There are 580 households in Minneota, with 436 of them owner-occupied single-family homes (75 percent). Almost 90 percent of the homes were built before 1980. Only about six percent were built after 2000. There are very few lots available for new homes in Minneota.

“Enough homes have been built to say people are willing to invest in a home,” said Thompson. He indicated, “There is demand for approximately 46 new housing units in Minneota from now to 2030. About 70 percent of demand is estimated to come from household growth and 30 percent to replace older, obsolete homes,” Thompson added.

While he said, “It would be difficult to build an affordable apartment building,” he indicated a building with average rents above the current $450 for single and $615 for two-bedroom would be possible.

“Rents are commonly quite low (in Minneota),” he indicated. The projected future rates are $850 for two-bedroom and $950 for three-bedroom apartments.

EDA Member and Councilman Tim Koppien said, “We can’t spend just on speculation. We are spending other people’s money.” Locating a developer would be ideal. “The developer is spending his own money,” Koppien added.

The EDA agreed they need to, “Look progressive, move ahead and accelerate the development of housing.”

The projections indicated up to 2030, about 34 units will be needed for owner-occupied housing and about 12 units for rental housing. “The greatest demand for new housing in Minneota will be generated by empty-nesters and retirees who prefer one-level living,” said Thompson.

Also important will be improving the quality of the existing housing stock. EDA member John Noyes said, “The end result is we’ve got to get something going.”

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