Affordable Housing Isn’t Easy

Bluff-Creek Apartments

The Carver County CDA and our individual cities struggle to provide our residents affordable housing.

Why?  Oftentimes, the cost to build exceeds what can be received in rents or sales proceeds to make the project feasible.  Furthermore, many incomes for younger people as well as seniors do not cover the typical asking rents or mortgage payments required to afford a home.  There has been significant research done on this topic.

The CDA has provided two articles below for further information, and we encourage all city leaders and residents to read them for further insight and education:

Working Doesn’t Always Pay For A HomeAffordable Rental Housing Does Not Reduce Property Values

Housing for Veterans

Lake Grace Housing

In early 2014, Metro HRA awarded Lake Grace Apartments three Project Based Voucher units for homeless veterans.

A one, two and three bedroom unit will be filled by households meeting requirements for Metro HRA’s Section 8 program, in addition to veteran and homeless status. Households will pay 30% of their adjusted monthly income towards rent and Metro HRA will subsidize the remainder. Two of the three units are currently occupied by households, while the property is working on filling the third unit with an eligible household.

Major Remodel of Centennial Hill Senior Residence

CentennialHill_669x430In 1995, the City of Chanhassen and the CDA entered into a Joint Powers Agreement to enable the construction of Centennial Hill Apartments, which provided 65 units of housing for seniors in the City of Chanhassen.

As it approached its twentieth anniversary year, the project was in need of a variety of improvements.  The CDA requested the City of Chanhassen’s continued support of the project by providing its general obligation backing in support of housing bonds to fund $1,550,000 in building improvements and to refund the $2,960,000 of outstanding 2004 bonds resulting in a substantial saving on interest rates since the original project.

The Building Improvements

Kass Wilson Architects was retained on the project and one of the primary purposes of the project was to repair the existing plaza which had leaking issues for many years. The project included a complete reconstruction of the plaza waterproofing system. The plaza was then refinished with a new heated walkway and concrete topping.

The project also included site improvements to collect water from the plaza and direct it away from the building, which was critical to successfully deal with the plaza water issues and to stabilize a retaining wall that had been destabilized by the accumulation of water.

The project also included improvements to the building designed to reduce ongoing maintenance costs and increase energy efficiencies. The improvements included:
  • New windows
  • Replacement of existing vinyl siding with new cement fiber board
  • Refinishing the existing decks and wrapping the face boards with aluminum along with the addition of new aluminum railings
  • Refinishing and restriping the asphalt parking lot
  • New landscaping
The Centennial redevelopment and upgrade project team included:
  • Carver County CDA
  • City of Chanhassen
  • Kass Wilson Architects
  • Eagle Builders
  • Springsted Inc.
  • Steve Dunbar, Ivy Properties

Grant Awarded to Develop Land Trust Townhomes In Waconia


Carver County CDA awarded grant from Minnesota Housing and Metropolitan Council to develop new Carver County Land Trust Townhomes in Waconia

Partnerships with City of Waconia and Ridgeview Medical Center Critical to providing Affordable Housing

The Carver County Community Development Agency was notified in November that it was awarded a grant of $129,300 from Minnesota Housing and $31,000 from the Metropolitan Council for its proposed Waconia Community Land Trust Townhome project to be developed at Waterford Second Addition, Waconia in 2015.  The project will include 4 newly constructed townhome units that will allow the Carver County CDA to expand its Carver County Community Land Trust housing program.  The CDA developed a partnership between the City of Waconia and Ridgeview Medical Center to provide the much needed affordable housing in Waconia.

Bob Stevens, CEO of Ridgeview Medical states, “Ridgeview Medical views affordable housing as key to the success of a healthy and balanced community and we were pleased to provide grant funds through our Ridgeview Medical Center to work with our key project partners and make it happen.”

The project will advance the housing goals of the City of Waconia as well as the 2030 Carver County Comprehensive Plan and Housing Implementation Plan which are to diversify the housing stock of the City of Waconia by creating affordable workforce housing for individuals and families earning less than 80% of area median income; preserving housing affordability by including units in the Land Trust, and promoting the economic integration of the City of Waconia.

The Carver County Community Development Agency’s mission is to provide housing opportunities and foster economic development in Carver County.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Brenda Lano, Supervisor of Housing Programs at (952) 556-2782 or email Brenda.

STEM Interns Available — 50 Percent Cash Match on Wages

SciTechsperience header with faces of a man and a woman

Is your company interested in looking for a STEM intern?

Does your company know it can receive a 50 percent cash match on the intern’s wages up to $2500?

Check outscitechsperience logo

SciTechsperience is an exciting internship program that creates the opportunity for Minnesota businesses to work with talented college STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students to develop solutions for real world challenges. SciTechsperience provides a low-cost solution for small and medium-sized companies that otherwise may not have access to qualified interns. Participating companies receive matching funds of 50 percent of the intern’s wages up to $2,500.

Eligibility requirements
Click here for more information and to apply
For further details

Please contact the SciTechsperience Program Director
Becky Siekmeier
Minnesota High Tech Association
Email Becky

We Have No Cement!

By: John Sullivan, Economic Development Director, Carver County and MAPCED Secretary /Executive Committee

That’s right folks!  We are out.

I’ve been in economic development for over 26 years now, and I have seen some weird things over the years affect economic development projects.  Most times they were weather related such as an overly wet construction season. Raw materials shortages have occurred in the recent past, and the period of 2004-2006 brought shortness in supply of both wood and qualified labor due to the housing boom.  The results of that rapid overbuilding period contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, which brought many projects to a halt and financing was not necessary as banks virtually quit lending.   Everything essentially shut down, including cement plants.

We now find ourselves in present day late 2014.  Things change fairly quickly in life.  Its prime time for construction season, but many projects around the area are falling behind schedule. Carver County included…we have several projects being built that are stalled due to a lack of cement.

That’s because a regional concrete shortage has local companies struggling to make it through the construction season. According to officials at Leitzen Concrete in Rochester, this is the worst cement shortage in decades, and the only thing that can cure this shortfall headache is time.  And the timing of the cement shortage could not be worse for booming areas such as Rochester, the Twin Cities and Duluth.

The Shortage
The Perfect Storm

If you have any questions or comments, please contact John Sullivan at 952-556-2789.

Angel Tax Credit Program Now Accepting Applications

Dept of employment header

We’re now accepting certification applications
for the 2015 Angel Tax Credit program.

New features include:
  • $15 million in tax credits per year
  • $7.5 million in tax credits reserved for investments in women-owned, minority-owned and Greater Minnesota located businesses until Sept. 30
  • ‘Insiders’ (officers, principals, 20% owners and family with ownership interests combined, and family of these insiders) are no longer eligible for the credit
  • Eligible business types have been expanded: businesses researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service in agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing, or transportation (no high-tech or technology requirement).

Half of the $120 million in investments the Angel Tax Credit program hopes to attract over the next two years will be reserved for women-owned, minority-owned and Greater Minnesota located businesses. Any leftover tax credits not tapped for investments in those businesses by the September 30 deadline each year will be available for investments in businesses outside those groups.

Since 2010 the Angel Tax Credit Program has attracted more than $260 million for hundreds of high-tech startups in Minnesota. Under the program, qualified private investors receive a state tax credit of 25 percent for investing in qualified businesses.

Businesses that receive angel funding must be headquartered in Minnesota and certified to participate in the program. They must have fewer than 25 employees, with at least 51 percent of the workers and total payroll based in the state. They also must have been operating for no more than 10 years and cannot have received previous equity investments exceeding $4 million.

Credit allocation applications for the 2015 program will be accepted beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
For more details about the program go to

Funds Available for Homeowners and Rental Property Owners Affected by June Flooding

Minnesota Housing loan programs offer up to $70,000 in assistance

St. Paul, Minn. – Residents affected by June flooding in Carver, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Wright counties may be eligible for state loans up to $70,000 through Minnesota Housing. Funds are for capital improvements that return the home to pre-disaster or comparable condition.

There are two loan programs available:
  • Community Fix Up flood loans can provide up to $50,000 in repair funding for residents with qualifying credit. The interest rate for these loans has been reduced to 3.00%.
  • For residents who do not qualify for a Community Fix Up loan, or those who have flood repair needs beyond what is covered by the Community Fix Up loan, the Quick Start Disaster Recovery Program can provide additional assistance up to $20,000. Quick Start loans are interest free and forgiven if the owner remains in the home for 10 years. Funding for rental housing properties is also available under similar terms and conditions.
Click here for Funds Available for Homeowners and Rental Property Owners
Affected by June Flooding (pdf)

Stream Data Center

stream data photos
The Carver County CDA has worked very closely with the City of Chaska and through our membership in Greater MSP ( to market Chaska and Carver County to large data center companies.  We have had a lot of success in this regard. A short 5 years ago Carver County had no data centers and now Chaska is home to 4 with an investment totaling over $350 million. We especially worked hard and assisted the City of Chaska to both attract and land Stream Data Centers out of Dallas Texas to develop a large data center here in Chaska. We wrote an infrastructure grant to the state to support the development that was funded. We also worked closely to lure Stream Data here along with our partner Greater MSP.  Anthony Bolner is the CEO of Stream Data Centers.

The ribbon cutting was held on July 9 2014. 

The ribbon cutting was held on July 9 2014.

Visit Stream Data

Vickerman Building Expansion

Vickerman signVickerman-expansion
The City of Norwood Young America (NYA) and the Carver County CDA are proud to announce the expansion of Vickerman Company in the Tacoma West Industrial Park. Vickerman Company is an importer and wholesaler of quality seasonal decorations, including traditional and realistic artificial Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands. In addition the company offers other realistic looking holiday foliage, Giant Christmas trees and a full line of unique display trees.

Read the Media Release (pdf)
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