New Habitat for Humanity project planned in Coon Rapids

The Coon Rapids Housing and Redevelopment Authority is partnering with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for another housing project in the Woodcrest area of the city.

Habitat for Humanity project location.
Habitat for Humanity project location.

The housing and redevelopment authority, which comprises the seven members of the Coon Rapids City Council, approved a development agreement with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

Under the agreement, the authority will provide a grant of up to $13,000 to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to assist with demolition and site preparation costs at a residential property at 10121 Quince St. NW.

According to Matt Brown, city community development specialist, the house is in very poor condition and would be difficult to rehabilitate in a cost effective way.

Anoka County acquired the property with federal neighborhood stabilization program funds and has contacted Twin City Habitat for Humanity about redeveloping the property, Brown told the authority.

Habitat for Humanity plans to demolish the house, which Brown called “dilapidated,” and built a new four-bedroom home totaling 1,673 square feet.

According to Brown, Habitat will sell the house to a family earning less than 50 percent of the area median income that has completed home ownership classes, put 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” into the house and demonstrated an ability to pay Habitat’s zero interest mortgage.

“Habitat will either use HOME funds from Anoka County or its own private funds for construction,” Brown wrote in a report to the housing and redevelopment authority.

Last month the Anoka County Housing and Redevelopment Authority allocated unused federal HOME affordable housing dollars to Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity totaling $203,845 for projects like this.

In Brown’s view, Habitat’s proposal represents a good investment in the Woodcrest neighborhood.

The proposed house, which meets the housing and redevelopment authority’s design criteria, is consistent in design with surrounding houses and include high-quality exterior materials, Brown wrote.

When Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity constructed two houses in Woodcrest in the last couple of years – at 9901 Larch St. and 9911 Larch St. – the authority provided similar levels of funding for demolition costs for both projects, he wrote.

The new home on Quince will have the same design as the house built at 9901 Larch St., Brown said.

Under the development agreement, the new house has to be completed by Dec. 31, 2014 or the city’s grant will have to be returned.

Councilmember Paul Johnson supported the grant and the Habitat for Humanity project.

“The other two projects in Woodcrest turned out very well and improved the area,” Johnson said.

But Councilmember Bruce Sanders was concerned about the lack of bathrooms, only one and a half for a four-bedroom house as shown on the proposed floor plan presented to the authority, he said.

“That would be pretty chaotic,” Sanders said.

However, Chad Dipman, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity land acquisition project manager, said it was only a tentative design.

The home to be constructed is tailored to the needs of the family that is purchasing it, he said.

In this case, the family with whom Habitat for Humanity is working has accessibility needs, according to Dipman.

According to its website, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program has volunteers build or rehabilitate simple, quality homes in partnership with low-income families and the community.

“We sell the homes with affordable, zero percent interest mortgages, making a 30-year commitment to each new homeowner and the community in which they live,” the website states.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]