In the early 2000s, Scott County was the fastest growing county in Minnesota, adding nearly 5,000 jobs and experiencing a population growth of 10%. While exciting for the economy, we faced a number of factors that made this growth a challenge:
- 44% of households that rent are considered cost burdened.
- Vacancy rates below 5% indicate pent-up demand and make the market challenging for those seeking to find a place to live. The vacancy rate during this time was 1.2% across all market-rate apartments and rentals that accepted any subsidies were at 0%.
We simply didn’t have enough homes to accommodate people of all incomes moving to Scott County. With 513 units available across the county, and demand calculated for an additional 626 units between 2017 and 2025, those with lower incomes would have a tremendous struggle finding a place to live.
We partnered with cities and a number of developers to increase their ability to receive funding from Minnesota Housing in order to develop more rental units in Scott County. Enough to accommodate the influx of new neighbors coming to Scott County, at all income levels.
Since the study was completed in November of 2016, 287 units have been approved to chip away at the 626 units identified in the study:
- Pike Lake Marsh in Prior Lake opened to full occupancy with 68 units in August of 2018.
- Louisiana Lofts in Savage opened early 2019 with 54 units and approximately 110 names on an interest list for this property.
- Sarazin Flats (57 units) is under construction in Shakopee, expecting to be open September/October 2019.
- The second phase of 48 units for Sarazin Flats has been approved and expected to start construction once Phase I is complete.
- The Willows is 60 units that will also be built in Shakopee will be under construction before the end of 2019.
The work isn’t over, and we have much more to accomplish. Together, we will ensure all people in Scott County are able to find a home they can afford.