FOLEY (WJON News) -- The Benton Economic Partnership is asking the board of commissioners to funnel some new state aid to their organization to help drive housing projects in Benton County.

BEP Executive Director Amanda Othoudt says they're asking the county to use the $124,000 in new Affordable Housing Aid to help them hire a person dedicated to working with developers and on affordable housing initiatives...

Number one is focusing on housing initiatives across the county. So, we have several developers that we're talking to at this point. So, that person would specialize in housing, have some economic development experience, and then also work with organizations like the St. Cloud HRA.

Othoudt says they completed a housing study in May to understand the current housing supply and what the future demand will look like.

She says Benton County is like a lot of other counties that are behind in development which leads to a very limited number of lots...

You know, how do we assist developers in helping them with the cost of putting that infrastructure in the ground, right? So, the water, the sewer, and the roads.

One initiative between Benton County and the city of Sauk Rapids is matching grants of $7,500 for each lot to help the developer offset the high cost of putting in that infrastructure.

Othoudt is hoping to have someone hired by the end of the year or early in 2024.




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