Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County Rolls Out Plans for New 42 Home Development

Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County

(Alexandria MN) — For over 27 years, Habitat has built a proven track record of building strength and stability through affordable homeownership. Now, we’re taking a big step forward with the Summer Meadows development, the first new affordable housing project in Alexandria since 2002, offering families a chance to anchor themselves in this vibrant community.

Located in a highly desirable neighborhood in Alexandria, the development will allow 42 homes to be built over the next 10 years, with four to five homes built each year. Sidewalks will exist on both sides of the street with trees to enhance the interconnectedness of neighborhoods allowing easy access to bike trails and a buffer of native plantings. One side of the property is located next to an existing park.

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About the Homes

The homes of Summer Meadows will feature two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet utilizing five different house plans that include two-stall garages. Homes will be built slab-on-grade with in-floor heat to optimize energy efficiency and upgraded exteriors with stone veneer and porches.

Why Summer Meadows?

Homeownership is about stability, health, and opportunity. Owning a home allows families to build wealth, invest in their children’s education, and contribute more meaningfully to our community.

In 2023, the City of Alexandria Housing Update painted a clear picture: there’s a significant affordability gap in our community. Home values are rising faster than incomes, and we desperately need more affordable options. The study calls out the need for 8 to 10 affordable homes built annually, and recognized Habitat as the only one in a position to meet this need.

City of Alexandria and AAEDC Support

At the June 26, 2023, meeting, the Alexandria City Council approved a request from Habitat for a planned unit development on existing vacant property. Through partnership with the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC), Habitat applied and was approved for tax-increment financing (TIF) from the Alexandria City Council.  “We’re thrilled the city has chosen to support our efforts to create affordable homeownership opportunities through this development,” stated Lori Anderson, Habitat’s Executive Director.  Heather Smith Ahrens, Director of Operations at Habitat added, “By having a partnership with the city, we’ll be able to move forward with our goal of building four to five homes a year and perhaps even accelerate that as the need continues.”

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