Workforce housing forum set in Spring Valley Nov. 14

SE MN Together and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund are co-hosting a workforce housing forum in Spring Valley on Thursday, Nov. 14.

This opportunity for residents and officials of area communities in southeastern Minnesota to explore the issue of housing a growing workforce is free of charge. The forum is set at the Five Wynds Event Centre, 1047 North Broadway Avenue, starting at 8:30 a.m. with registration and networking. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

As towns in southeast Minnesota think about economic growth in the region and the current and projected workforce shortages, it is imperative to consider the related housing issues, note officials with the host organizations, since the economic vitality of the region depends on attracting and retaining the workforce needed. Vibrant communities and a dynamic economy are built on livability and affordability, but affordable homes are in short supply and demand is high. The forum will look at how local communities can address this issue.

These sessions, one of which is also being held in Northfield Nov. 6, have been designed to provide information and connections to resources and expertise to inform and help communities develop local solutions and tactical, actionable strategies to meet their housing needs. The agenda includes a developer panel, a state and local funder panel, a technical and planning assistance panel, as well as time for networking and dialogue around this important regional issue.

Panel presenters represent Three Rivers Community Action, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, Community and Economic Development Associates, Winona Economic Development, Bigelow Homes, Minnesota Housing, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, USDA Rural Development, Minnesota Housing Partnership, Housing Institute for Greater Minnesota, and the Minnesota Housing Task Force.

Event details and registration can be found online at www.semntogether.org

SE MN Together, created in 2015, is a regional collaborative network of organizations and individuals developing and pursuing strategies to address the workforce shortage. SE MN Together also seeks to strengthen regional connections and build local capacity in communities across the region, which can be leveraged to address other social and economic issues affecting southeast Minnesota. Southeast Service Cooperative serves as fiscal sponsor and provides backbone services