New mixed-income housing now open for leasing

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Duluth (Duluth HRA) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Monday afternoon for the Fairmount Cottage Development.

Work began last summer for the development consisting of 18 units that have a shared greenspace, boardwalk, and parking lot. The mixed-income rental housing will be made up of a combination of 50%, 80%, 90%, and 100% area median income (AMI) households.

“There’s a tremendous need for affordable housing in our community of all income levels, really. I mean, in this really feels a little gap. It’s not a tax credit project, so it’s not going to be highly subsidized or extremely low income,” said Duluth HRA Executive Director Jill Keppers. “This is really a mixed income project for entry level police officers and nurses and teachers and, you know, low income families, too, and single parents or seniors. Anybody who wants to live here should apply.”

Senator Tina Smith, Mayor Emily Larson, and Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Baumgartner were among those present at the ribbon cutting. Duluth City Councilor Janet Kennedy spoke as well and said that the cottages are close to where she lived as a child in a scattered site housing project.

“A little bit different than this, but it was still a place where there were houses that were across the street from me and I got to play with and interact with people who weren’t as poor as I was and look at and like I go to their birthdays and go camping with them and go places with them where I couldn’t my mom couldn’t afford that because she was a working mom,” said Kennedy. “I got to see a different sort of life, a different narrative of that I could strive for. I think mostly if you were living in a poor neighborhood with everybody being poor, that’s all you really know, right? You don’t understand what else is out there for you, and so this type of project is one of the projects that’ll be a catalyst for that.”

The Fairmount Cottage Development is the first project in Duluth that uses funds from the American Rescue Plan Act with a $1.15 million fund allocation from the city. Funding also includes $1.5 million of Duluth HRA funds and $2.5 million in housing revenue from North Shore bank.

More information about the cottage village and how to apply can be found here: