Thursday, March 23, 2023


A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.


The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Housing Crisis: Government Help for Older Homes Seen as Solution


Thursday, September 22, 2022   

As the housing market navigates a sea of obstacles, community-level organizations in Minnesota are urging governments to take a closer look at their strategies for supporting older neighborhoods, and said deteriorating homes shouldn't be overlooked.

Construction of new homes continues to lag, in part because of supply-chain issues, and groups such as NeighborWorks Home Partners say there's another problem: plenty of neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as surrounding suburbs, have an aging stock.

Beth Hyser, chief program officer for the group, said the scale of funds set aside for things like home improvement loans has not kept up with demand.

"We're seeing more and more folks trying to age in their homes," Hyser observed. "But because of a variety of financial situations have not been able to keep up with maintenance."

She added there are many first-time homebuyers who cannot afford to take on debt for necessary repairs. Community partners worry it will lead to more issues like gentrification, with private investors buying up properties.

Hyser recommended state and local governments do all they can to access funds through the federal HOME program, noting it offers flexibility in buying or rehabbing affordable housing.

Jim Erchul, executive director of Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, said they see a lot of older residents staying in homes with maintenance needs piling up. He explained it prevents them from being able to sell. His group can help facilitate options, but there are barriers.

"The state has a good, deferred loan program for extremely low-income folks, but it's rather burdensome to administer," Erchul noted.

Erchul pointed out a client and a community organization could spend a lot of time seeking approval, only to see it fall through. He suggested creating more efficiencies and expanding eligibility for the program, while still allowing for accountability, could go a long way in seeing their aging housing stock get the attention it needs.

Both groups say full renovation costs have skyrocketed, and smaller investments over time can prevent a collection of neighborhood homes needing major overhauls at once.

get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …

According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …


As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021