Harvest Ridge Homes
In December 2005, Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. celebrated the opening of its newest rental development in Plainview, Minnesota. Harvest Ridge offers 20 spacious rental townhomes in a scenic, small town setting. The project serves families earning 60 percent of area median income or below. Rents for the two and three bedroom units range from $400-$600.
The concept for the Harvest Ridge project grew from a Community Housing Assessment that involved members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This local planning effort identified an unmet need for affordable rental housing in the Plainview community. Private developers had explored potential rental projects in the past but were unable to assemble the financing needed to keep rents affordable for area residents. By working closely with the City, adjacent landowners and multiple funders, Three Rivers was able to develop a project that is attractive to working families and fits the local landscape. The City's commitment to provide tax increment financing for the project allowed Three Rivers to access $1.2 million in funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, First Homes of Rochester, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Minnesota Housing Partnership. Proceeds from tax credit syndication yielded an additional $1.5 million in private investment.
In addition to the rental townhomes, Three Rivers Community Action is developing 30 single family starter homes in the Harvest Ridge neighborhood. The homes offer families a variety of home styles and prices, with up to $50,000 in buyer assistance through First Homes' Community Land Trust and gap financing programs that make the homes affordable to households earning between $22,000 and $55,000. Affordability is enhanced through local lenders offering long-term affordable mortgage products through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency's CASA program and low-interest construction financing from Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. Since beginning construction on the development in 2005, Three Rivers has sold 17 homes in Harvest Ridge.