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City, townships apply for joint DEED residential rehab grant

The City of New York Mills is partnering with two other entities in applying for a Department of Employment and Economic Development grant.

New York Mills is submitting the grant application with Bluffton Township and Newton Township to try and obtain DEED funds through the Otter Tail County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Mayor Larry Hodgson said city officials initially met with representatives from the City of Bluffton, Bluffton Township, and Newton Township. The City of Bluffton has not indicated yet if they want to continue with the application process.

Hodgson said the city and townships must first complete a short form application by Sept. 3, and if approved will then formulate a full application.

The funds are for residential rehabilitation, similar to the DEED grants previously awarded to New York Mills for commercial and residential rehab. The grant amount awarded to each applicant is based on population. In doing the joint application with Bluffton Township and Newton Township, if awarded the grant, the city would receive about half the money.

The goal of the Small Cities Development Program is to develop viable, eligible communities by providing financial assistance to address the need for decent, safe, affordable housing, economic development and public facility needs, and provide a suitable living environment by expanding economic opportunities, principally benefitting low to moderate income households.

Low and moderate income is defined as households whose total income from all members does not exceed 80 percent of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size as determined by HUD annually.

Eligible applicants are cities with a population under 50,000 and counties and townships with an unincorporated population of fewer than 200,000.

Approximately $18 million of funds are available annually through the competitive pre-application/full application process through DEED.

The administrating entity for the program is the Fergus Falls/Otter Tail County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.