With the Community Action Center seeing a sharp increase in local residents needing housing, the Northfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday committed to setting aside up to $53,600 assistance to help with rent payments.

HRA funds are expected to support individuals or families in the community who need assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those funds could be used for forgiving or reimbursing the Community Action Center for rent payments for the Washington Street shelter for June, July and August — $3,600 in total. According to CAC officials, the organization would use those funds for additional motel vouchers during the shelter in place order and for rental assistance.

According to the CAC, COVID-19 has brought a more than 50% increase in food shelf use in Northfield, an amount only expected to climb over the coming months. Along with that, the need for providing shelter to those in need during the shelter-in-place order has increased on a daily basis. CAC shelters are full.

CAC officials say the organization is anticipating needing to provide at least $300,000 in emergency rental assistance in the coming months, more than 10 times CAC’s normal rental assistance budget.

CAC officials have said the organization is committed to setting aside $100,000 of its own funds first, mostly made up of local donations from individuals and businesses in our community.

The CAC also requested the HRA consider the two organizations investigate seek chances to bring in additional rental assistance funds into Northfield.

Opportunities that may arise in the changing political landscape at the state and federal level may require city/nonprofit partnerships.

In other action, the HRA:

Appointed Brent Nystrom as board chairman after Dayna Norvold recently stepped down from the board.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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