by Sarah Squires
The city of Winona may be in line for over $750,000 in grant money to help rehabilitate homes and businesses in the core city.
City leaders voted to apply for funding from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Monday night. Winona has already passed the pre-approval test, and will now wait for word in the spring on whether the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) funds will be approved.
The program would provide funds for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation in the core city, generally between Lake Winona and the Mississippi River. The city is seeking $600,000 for the residential portion of the grant, which would be available for a minimum of 25 low to moderate income homeowners throughout the city. The money would be offered through deferred loans to provide for improvements like windows, doors, furnaces, plumbing, electrical work and roofs. The limit would be a $22,000 deferred loan over no more than ten years.
An additional $168,000 would be available for neighborhood businesses within the city’s core, applied through a similar loan program.
Winona Program Development Director Lucy McMartin said that if the city is awarded the grant money, it will be coupled with several other similar programs and will aid in the city’s goal of rehabilitating the older housing stock within the core city. “That’s really the focus of it, the neighborhood rehabilitation,” she said, “helping people with funds to fix up their homes.”