More affordable housing may come to Chaska.
The Chaska City Council unanimously approved a concept plan on June 17 to build four duplexes south of Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church. The two-acre property would be sold and developed by Habitat for Humanity — a nonprofit organization that helps build affordable homes.
Construction on two of the duplexes would start next summer, according to Chad Dipman, project systems supervisor at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. The last two buildings would be finished in 2021 and 2022.
The land would be owned by the Carver County Land Trust. The homes would be appraised at approximately $77,000 per unit. A road would be built off of Crest Drive, which runs parallel to Highway 41 to the west, and into the lot, ending with a cul-de-sac.
The organization will sell each unit to lower moderate income families, Dipman said. The homes will have two garages and be handicap accessible.
“We’re super excited about the partnership with the church and the land trust,” Dipman said, adding church officials had approached Habitat for Humanity for an affordable housing development.
Habitat for Humanity has built several homes in Chaska, including 11 units in the Clover Ridge neighborhood.
Mayor Mark Windschitl inquired about potential lighting issues, and asked Dipman if local families would be given priority, during the council meeting.
“I just look at this as the perfect opportunity to fill the needs that we have here locally,” Windschitl said.
“Part of our effort will be to market the units in Chaska up until we get to construction and even during construction. This will be a multi-year process for us to build,” Dipman said, at the meeting.
Prospective residents of the homes will have to apply through Habitat for Humanity before they can be considered.
Councilor McKayla Hatfield said she hopes the development will blend into the nearby older homes.
A community meeting with 10 to 15 residents was held, said the Rev. Dean Seal of Shepherd of the Hill at the council meeting.
“By the end of it every question was answered and no one left nervous,” Seal said.
He noted the project fits within the mission of the church of advocating for affordable housing and homelessness and would make the land more productive.
“What we hear is young people leave town because there’s no place for them to move into, no place for them to buy,” he said. “These are going to be permanently affordable and it will be a successful method for future partnerships for the Carver County CDA and Habitat.”