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Kandiyohi County needs more workforce housing

By Shelby Lindrud

West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — According to a 2015 housing study, the population of Kandiyohi County has grown by 398 households since 2010 and is expected to grow another 299 households by 2020. Those new arrivals will need somewhere to live and, based on the study, that might not be an easy find.

“I think the housing we have is very stressed,” said Jill Bengston, Kandiyohi County Housing and Redevelopment Authority executive director, during a discussion last week.

Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Development director, said Willmar’s unemployment rate sits at around 3 percent, below the state and national average, and businesses are still looking for workers.

The low availability of affordable, market-rate housing, whether to buy or rent, can cause those employees to live outside of Kandiyohi County.

“Absence of affordable housing keeps those commuting as commuters,” Peterson said.


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