The cities of Braham, Grasston receive grant funds to assist homeowners, commercial building owners

The cities of Braham and Grasston, with assistance from Lakes & Pines Community Action Council, Inc., were awarded $613,410 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in grant funds for the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP).

These grant funds are to be used to rehabilitate approximately 14 owner-occupied homes (must be of low and moderate income) in the target areas of each city and seven commercial buildings in the target area within the city of Braham.

Grant funds are loaned to individual property owners for 10 years, at which time, if the property is still owned and occupied by the original borrower or if the business of the borrower is still located in the building, the funds are forgiven and considered a grant.

Eligible improvements can include replacing defective plumbing, heating or electrical systems, roofing, siding, windows and doors. To qualify, applicants must be current with property taxes, mortgage payments, and have proof of current insurance on the property.

Owner-occupied housing rehabilitation: The grant can pay up to 90 percent, or a maximum of $20,600 toward improvements. The remaining 10 percent of the total project cost is the responsibility of the property owner, but no household will be denied on the sole basis that they cannot meet this requirement.  In addition, applicants must live in the target area of Braham or Grasston, own the home and live in it as their primary residence (land must be taxed as a homesteaded property) and meet 80 percent of the county area median income limit.

Commercial rehabilitation: The grant can pay up to 50 percent, or a maximum of $35,000 per building toward improvements. The remaining 50 percent of the total project cost is the responsibility of the property owner. In addition, the property must be located in the target area of Braham.

Contractors: Only state licensed and insured contractors will be allowed to perform the improvement work. Local contractors that are interested in being added to the contractor’s list which Lakes & Pines distributes to participating property owners should complete the contractor’s application and return it to Lakes & Pines.

Applications are available. To request an application contact the Energy-Housing Department at Lakes & Pines CAC, Inc. at 800-832-6082 or 320-679-1800, by email at, by mail at 1700 Maple Avenue East, Mora, MN 55051 or at (click on Small Cities Programs).

Property owners that expressed interest in the program during the grant writing stages will be contacted directly for an application.