Redwood County EDA Moves Ahead with Comprehensive Countywide Housing Study

Redwood County Economic Development Authority partners with Bolton & Menk to complete a comprehensive countywide housing study by September of 2024. 

The Purpose of a Housing Study

A housing study is needed in order to actively support Redwood County’s ability to meet housing needs and reduce housing cost burdens through funding programs. This study will provide a demographic overview of the county to include household growth trends and projections, employment and income data as well as an understanding of for sale and rental markets. 

Housing studies serve as a tool to accomplish a number of things including:

  • Kick start economic revitalization
  • Identify present and future housing needs
  • Sustain and grow tax base
  • Address barriers and market forces
  • Identify the right type of housing
  • Identify funding programs to align for development
  • Tool for municipalities and national or local private developers to pursue funding opportunities

What It’s Used For

There are a number of funding programs which require a housing study as part of the application. A billion dollars was appropriated during the 2023 legislative session to encourage housing preservation,creation of new housing and support homeownership. This means the Minnesota Housing Agency is tasked with the development of 15 new programs on top of the 16 they currently administer. These new programs have not yet been created but are currently being worked on, which may increase the amount of programs that will require a study above and beyond the existing programs. 

The housing study will serve as a tool to not only apply for a variety of funding opportunities but also to attract developers to the area. When developers are considering a project, they are looking for an analysis or data to determine viability. 

Awarding the Work

The Redwood County EDA issued a request for proposal in August of 2023 allowing for interested parties to submit a bid. Through a competitive bidding process, the recommendation was made to the County Board of Commissioners at the December 12th, 2023 meeting to move ahead with the firm Bolton & Menk to complete the work. 

Bolton & Menk brings an abundance of knowledge and experience in the field. Their team of experts plan to work hand in hand with the communities in Redwood County to ensure a comprehensive countywide housing study is produced with a focus on the cities of Belview, Clements, Delhi, Lamberton, Lucan, Milroy, Morgan, Redwood Falls, Revere, Sanborn, Seaforth, Vesta, Wabasso, Walnut Grove, Wanda ands Lower Sioux Indian Community. 

How the Study Is Funded

Scenic City Realty owner andrealtor, Geri Theis, assisted the EDA through submission of a grant application to the West Central Association of REALTORS to be considered for a $7,500 grant to support the project. That grant has since been awarded,subsidizing the overall cost of the project. The Board of Commissioners approved the appropriation of $27,000 in addition to the $7,500 grant in order to fully fund the project. 

Moving Ahead

The process moving forward will include a multitude of data gathering to include public input meetings, surveys and more. A committee will be formed to serve as the direct point of contact for Bolton & Menk throughout this process. This committee will work to ensure that the direction of the study continues to strive for a better understanding of the wants and needs of the county. 

A project website will also be utilized to support transparency throughout the project. The website is intended to be a home to ongoing communication, upcoming dates on public meetings, surveys and outcomes. The public is encouraged to monitor the activity of the study by visiting the Redwood County EDA website and follow the county on Facebook.


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