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CLOQUET - The downturn of the housing market and foreclosure crisis has left some Northland neighborhoods with eye sores.It's hard to tell, but just a few months ago a house on Selmser Ave. in Cloquet used to look pretty rundown.
"The term we like to use is deferred maintenance which basically means nothings been done to this home for 20, 30, 40 years it's just sort of scraped by,” One Roof Community Housing Community Land Trust Director Jim Mischler-Philbin said.
The house on Selmser Ave. is just one of three homes in a new pilot project which fixes up foreclosed and blighted properties and puts them back on the market.
"Projects like this really help to address and stabilize neighborhoods so that is one element that this has provided," Cloquet Community Development Director Holly Butcher said.
Each house cost up to $175,000 to renovate and then it's resold at 30 percent less of the market value.
But the three bedroom, energy efficient homes will not just be sold to anyone, only to low income families who otherwise may not be able to buy.
"Available to any household that earns less than 80 percent of the area median income,” said Mischler-Philbin. “So they have to be income eligible at the time of purchase to buy."
The $560,000 grant based project not only ensures affordable housing, but also provides more housing options for Cloquets growing population.
"From low income housing, middle level, median income housing then really getting developers to the table to build new housing in the community as well," said Butcher.
One of the homes has already sold and project officials are now hoping to acquire more properties to fix up and sell.
If the homeowner decides to sell the home they have to pay it forward and agree to sell it to another low income family.