Fairmont looks to add affordable modular housing units

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:13 PM CDT
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FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) - Partnering with multiple organizations, Fairmont looks at adding a unique affordable housing project to the area.

A housing study done last year for Fairmont recommends more affordable housing options as well as more senior housing.

That’s why local non-profit Project 1590 partnered with University of Minnesota College of Design professor Jacob Mans on his Minnesota Housing Resilience Project.

“We want to make sure we are reaching low-income folks, people of color, people who need this type of housing,” said Project 1590 Community Activator Alex Young-Williams.

Young-Williams, a point person for the project, and Mans plan to bring modular housing units to the area.

“They are modular housing units, which means everything you need is built around the core, HVAC electrical, all that kind of stuff is in the core, and the idea is to bring outside help maybe from Habitat of Humanity, to build the rest of the house around that. So it cuts down on construction costs and makes the home more affordable,” explained Young-Williams.

Goals are for students from Fairmont Area School District’s construction trades class to build the utility cores, to save on costs while giving students real-world experience and skills.

To set the groundwork, A $3,000 grant from the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership at the University of Minnesota was recently given to be used over the next year.

Fairmont is one of six other communities throughout the state on the pilot project.

“With a pilot program, it could maybe be replicated, affordable housing is an issue across many small towns across the nation so this is something that other towns can look at as sort of a blueprint to do themselves,” said Young-Williams.

Hopes are for construction to being in the fall of 2022.

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