With plenty of money still unclaimed, the state has once again extended the deadline for homeowners affected by last June’s flooding in northeast Minnesota to apply for loans.
After the third extension of the loans, the new deadline is Feb. 28. The loans are part of the $167.5 million the state legislature allocated for flood relief during a special session in August, with about $12.2 million of that to go to home repairs.
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency said to date 139 loans have been granted worth about $2.1 million.
The loans provide up to $40,000 to return homes to their “pre-disaster, or comparable, condition,” the MHFA said in a news release. The loans are forgivable if the borrower stays in the home for ten years.
The deadline was again extended because the MHFA continues to hear about flood victims who might be interested in applying for the money.
“We want to make sure we don’t cut them off necessarily,” said MHFA spokeswoman Megan Ryan.
On Jan. 14 the Star Tribune reported that 118 loans worth about $1.8 million had been granted by the MHFA.
At that time, State Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, who represents some of the areas hardest hit by the floods, said he was frustrated by what he called "a huge underutilization" of the flood dollars.
"We set the money aside, and it hasn't been claimed by the individuals affected by the flood," he said. "I know that there are people who need help."