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Affordable Housing On The Rise In Minnesota

Farmington, with a population of just over 20,000 people, is not a very large community in Dakota County, located in the southeastern part of Minnesota. But it has a big reputation for being a leader in providing low-income housing since the 1990's.

The city ranked third in the state last year, with only Minneapolis and St. Paul ahead, in creating affordable rental housing. That is quite an accomplishment, considering the populations of the much larger cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul at well over 3 million people and ranking 13 in the most populous cities in the U.S.

Farmington added 87 units of affordable, rental housing units last year and has been one of the top ten cities from 1996 to 2010 who provide affordable housing. The city added 1,692 units during that time, thanks to some aggressive goals by the city's Mayor Todd Larson. His goal is to make affordable housing account for 33 percent of all housing in the city.

In addition, the city wants to add between 345 to 492 affordable units by 2020. It appears they may be well on their way as they are one of only five suburban cities who reached their goal last year to create at least ten percent of housing as affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. They exceeded the goal with 87 new units.

Eligible families in Farmington qualify for low-income housing if their household income does not exceed $50,340 for a family of four. Other Minnesota cities making notable contributions to affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families include Minneapolis, Shakopee, St. Paul, Lakeville, Inver Grove Heights, Roseville, Oakdale, Hopkins, Plymouth and Burnsville.

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