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Business Development

Housing Summit Summary Notes


The Duluth Housing Summit was held on February 13, 2014. Keynote speakers and working groups discussed strategic actions needed to address the diverse housing challenges for residents in Duluth and for those considering a move to Duluth.  

About 250 participants attended and provided feedback about these specific areas of housing needs:

  • Single Family construction
  • Multi-family construction
  • Rehabilitation and Infill
  • Supportive Housing


Construction/Development Priorities:

-          Develop a “Housing Plan” and lay out the vision for housing developments in Duluth including sites, types of developments, cost structure, financial tools and others

-          Partnerships are critical among lenders, developers, government, labor groups, realtors, and employers

-          Establish funding pools to entice development and reduce the risk for developers – ex. loan loss reserve fund

-          Engage employers: ex. “employer assisted” housing programs

-          Create a land inventory – tax forfeit, vacant lots, blighted properties, foreclosed homes, etc...

-          Train local talent – train more local people in the trades; create training programs with educators/non-profits

-          Consider sweat equity programs for lower income households to get into housing

-          Upgrade existing housing stock through rehab programs

-          Broad mix of housing is needed: senior housing, lower cost units for young professionals, transitional housing, multi-family units



-          Promote existing rehab programs

-          Promote property maintenance and code compliance to create beautiful and safe neighborhoods – parking continues to be an issue

-          Realtors and property managers can help market all areas of Duluth

-          Education is key: inform current home owners about rehab programs/funds and prospective buyers on financing tools given modern day debt load

-          Educate developers/buyers/contractors about building in Duluth and the demand for market rate and need for more supportive housing

-          Need for  housing resource navigators as one stop source of information and assistance


Regulatory Proposals/Financing Tools:

-          Seek TIF legislative changes – more flexibility on use and expand districts where TIF applies and used to its full advantage

-          Governor’s bonding bill – mobilize advocates to seek opportunities for Duluth

-          Seek out MN Housing (state) and Greater MN Housing Fund programs and partnerships for financing tools

-          Seek programs for low income earners or hard to house – ex. help with security deposits or sweat equity programs

-          UDC – needs to be nimble


Keith Hamre
Executive Director of Business and Economic Development
City Hall, Room 402
411 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802


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