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Grants available for home repairs

Does your home need some work to make it more energy efficient?

Help is available for qualifying homeowners in Osakis.

In 2016, the city of Osakis was awarded $225,000 in grant funds to help 15 low-to-moderate income owners make necessary repairs to their homes.

The project was targeted to a specific area of town (as shown in the map). As of Feb. 27, there were still 11 grants for $15,000 each remaining to be awarded, according to Emajean Ford, special programs coordinator with the Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

"These grants will expire on September 30, 2019 so don't wait to apply!" Ford noted.

The $15,000 can be used to make repairs or replacements to large project items such as roofs, new windows and doors, insulation, siding replacement and new furnaces.

Smaller items such as flooring, plumbing, and electrical issues can also be funded by the programs.

Approved applicants will receive a complete inspection of their home conducted by the HRA staff.

"You will have input on items looked at during the inspection and will be informed if items are eligible at that time," Ford said. "A scope of work will then be created for your home from that information."

Staff will assist homeowners in bidding out the project to licensed contractors, bid selection and contractor warranties. The Douglas County HRA will oversee the construction of the project and help ensure all items are completed per the bid and applicable building codes.

How to apply

You can apply for the programs through the Douglas County HRA by contacting staff at 320-762-3848, or stop in at 1224 N. Nokomis, P.O. Box 965, Alexandria, MN 56308. The HRA staff will help you determine which available grants you may be eligible for and the best fit your repair needs.

Ford urged homeowners to apply as soon as possible. "Depending on projects size, it can take up to six months or more from application to completion," she said.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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