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Dublin Crossing, a workforce housing project, is nearing completion in Mankato. The project received city, county and federal funding and will fill a need with its 50 units for people earning less than $16 per hour. Photo by Brian Arola 

MANKATO — A workforce housing project financed with federal, city and county assistance is nearing completion.

Dublin Crossing, at 920 Patriot Drive next to Kearney Pond, will add 50 units for tenants earning roughly $16 per hour or less.

The apartment could be open as soon as late June, said Justin Eilers, project manager for CommonBond Communities — the organization leading construction efforts. 

“We’re actively taking applications right now,” he said. “We’ve had a good interest so far."

Once completed, Dublin Crossing would be the first new workforce housing in Mankato since 2012. The 60-unit Sibley Park Apartments project on Sibley Parkway was the last.

Federal housing tax credits helped make Dublin Crossing possible. The funding is highly sought after, with construction ending a nearly three-year process to secure the credits.

Nancy Bokelmann, Mankato’s housing and community development manager, said the project should fill a need identified in the city’s most recent housing study.

“Definitely it’s a need,” she said. “I know the housing study anticipated we could use 150 to 200 of these units every three years.”

The competitive nature of applying for the federal funding makes adding 150 to 200 units per year a daunting task. Dublin Crossing’s 50 units are part of 110 total workforce housing units approved by the city in recent years. Rosa Place, a 60-unit project north of Rosa Parks Elementary School, is scheduled to open in early 2019.

Bob Meyer, Blue Earth County administrator, said the County Board supported the project in recognition of the need for more affordable housing in Mankato. The county and city pitching in made the proposal more attractive for federal funding as it competed with similar projects across the state. 

“We were very happy it was selected and it’ll be great to see the ribbon cutting,” Meyer said.

Along with units for lower- to middle-class workers, Dublin Crossing also has seven rooms specifically meant for homeless families. CommonBond plans to provide support services for tenants fitting the criteria. Renters who qualify for housing vouchers also qualify for 10 of the units. 

Crews continue to work on the site this week ahead of its opening. Eilers encouraged anyone interested in the new housing option to contact 651-290-6228.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArolaMFP.

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