Housing Programs

Emergency Housing and Homeless Services

See Emergency Services

Affordable Housing Program

The Affordable Housing Program partners with the MN Dept. of Corrections, Greater MN Housing Fund, MN Housing Finance Agency and other agencies to create quality affordable housing in West Central MN for families at or below 115% of the state median income.

Home sizes vary from 852 sq. ft. to 1,408 sq. ft. on each level. Homes have 2-4 bedrooms, 1-2 baths, kitchen, dining, living room, main floor laundry on select models. The lower level/basement includes furnace/utility room rough ins for a future bathroom, space for future bedrooms, home office and or family room. The lower level is typically unfinished but may be finished if buyer so desires.

A variety of floor plans are available depending on your families needs. Homes can be modified for handicapped accessibility upon request.

Homes are built by a 30 year veteran carpenter, minimum security inmates and local sub contractors. Homes are high quality, durable, energy efficient and require minimal maintenance. Homes are inspected by a state licensed building inspector to ensure codes are met and/or surpassed.

We currently build in Douglas, Pope, Stevens, Otter Tail & Grant Counties.

If you are interested in building where we don’t have access to lots, our housing staff can work with private buyers, cities or EDA to attempt to acquire one to meet your needs.


The first step is to contact WCMCA staff to fill out an Affordable Housing Program Application (PDF). Our knowledgeable housing staff will assist you with all of the remaining steps of purchasing a new home.

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Financing Tools

WCMCA housing staff are able to assist you in the mortgage process and or refer you to lenders that have a variety of lending programs such as: First Time homebuyer programs · Programs with as little as 1% down, Rural Development · ECHO · CASA

For further information regarding the Affordable Housing Program, please contact:

West Central Minnesota Communities Action
411 Industrial Park Boulevard
Elbow Lake, MN 56531-4213

Heidi Grove – Housing Assistant
Direct Line: 218-685-7033
Email: heidig@wcmca.org

John Pritschet – Housing Coordinator
Direct Line: 218-685-7042
Email: johnp@wcmca.org

Small Cities Rehabilitation Deferred Loan Program

This program is for rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing and is currently available in Breckenridge, Campbell, Clarissa, Elbow Lake and Verndale. Assistance to homeowners is in the form of a zero-percent interest-deferred loan which would be combined with other funding sources to maximize each project. It is expected that these projects will rehabilitate a total of 82 homes when completed.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must live in the targeted area
  • You must own the house, either free of debt, through a mortgage, or a recorded Contract for Deed

For additional information about the Small Cities Rehabilitation Program please call John at 218-685-7042 or e-mail him at johnp@wcmca.org.

If you would like to apply for the Small Cities Rehabilitation Program available in your town, please contact your city office for an application or contact Kathy Sletto at (320) 762-8428.

Minnesota Urban and Rural Homesteading (MURL) Program

MURL is a first-time homebuyer program for low- to moderate-income families who are unable to purchase a home through conventional means. Eligible families must be considered “at risk” for home ownership. Barriers such as past credit problems, lack of a down payment, and low wages are all factors that limit a household’s ability to own a home and would be considered “risk factors” for home ownership.

The MURL single-family homes will be sold on a zero-interest contract for deed with no down payment requirement. To be a qualified homebuyer you must have an income to be able to pay off the contract for deed in a 30-year time span.

Eligible homebuyers must meet income guidelines, be first-time homebuyers (a first-time homebuyer includes individuals who owned a home with a spouse or significant other and are separated or divorced, individuals who have not owned a home in the last three years, and individuals who have never owned a home), and be unable to purchase a home through traditional financing. Buyers must pay 25% of their gross monthly income as the monthly house payment. Hazard insurance and property taxes are escrowed and are included in the 25% payment.

The income guidelines at this time are as follows:

Grant and Otter Tail County

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Douglas County

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Pope County

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Traverse County

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Wilkin County

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Clay County

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If you have questions regarding the program, please contact Heidi at 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486, Ext. 138.

Please send a copy of the household income for the last current month from everyone who is living there 18 years of age or older.

MURL Homes for Sale

Barnesville Home for Sale (PDF)

For more information about the MURL Program, please call Heidi G at 1-218-685-4486, Ext. 138 or toll-free at 800-492-4805, Ext. 138 or email her at heidig@wcmca.org.

You may access the MURL Application form at the link below, print it, complete it, and mail to:

West Central Minnesota Communities Action
Attention: Heidi
411 Industrial Park Boulevard
Elbow Lake, MN 56531-4213

MURL Application (PDF)

In-Home Modification Program

This service is intended to make minor modifications of living space to prevent injury, promote safety and health of older persons, to assist them in remaining independent in their homes. It is available to eligible older household members in the following nine Minnesota counties: Clay, Becker, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin.

Who May Receive These Services?

  • Household members 60 years of age or older who may be disabled and who may be in great economic and social need
  • Low-income elderly minorities
  • Age 60+ elderly who live alone or are isolated and at-risk
  • Limited English speaking
  • Vulnerable elderly defined as functionally-impaired and lacking an adequate informal support system
  • Limited physical mobility
  • Psychological or mental disability
  • Lack of knowledge or skills to select and prepare nourishing, balanced diets

What Modifications are Included in These Services?

Minor home modifications may include, but are not limited to, such items as:

  • Repairs/renovations to alleviate medical conditions (i.e., air conditioner installation for asthma patients, etc., with doctor’s prescription)
  • Purchase and installation of grab bars, shower chairs, raised toilet seats
  • Night lights
  • Faucet and door levers
  • Wheelchair ramps and/or wider doorways for wheelchairs
  • Smoke detectors
  • Medical alert devices
  • Other – call for more information

Where Does the Money Come From?

This project is funded under contract with Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging as part of the Title III Older Americans Act Program.

How Can These Funds Be Accessed?

Contact Megan at West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc. at 218-685-4486 or toll-free at 800-492-4805, or the Community Action Agency, public health or social service agency, tribal service agency, energy related repair or energy assistance program, or other programs that interact with frail and elderly clients in your local community. Or you may print out the Application Form below, answer all the questions on the application, sign it, and mail to:

West Central Minnesota Communities Action
Attn: Megan
411 Industrial Park Boulevard
Elbow Lake, MN 56531-4213

In-Home Application / Intake Form (PDF)

FPAP: Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program

What is the FPAP Program?

The FPAP Program provides assistance to households facing foreclosure due to temporary financial crisis by providing credit counseling and/or mortgage assistance, in the form of a loan.

Why use Case Management in this program?

The case management services include information and referral services, assistance setting up a budget, budget counseling and credit counseling services to assist the household in preventing future financial hardships.

FPAP Funding Sources

FPAP is administered by West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc., serving the seven (7) counties of Clay, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin, and is funded by Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

Who to Contact

The FPAP program is considered one of WCMCA’s emergency programs. For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact, Jill Amundson, Ext. 151; Robbie Stier, Ext 118 or Kate Ouverson, Ext 133 at 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486 or email at jilla@wcmca.org, robbies@wcmca.org or kateo@wcmca.org

FRAMEWORK – Online Homebuyer Education

FRAMEWORK - Online Homebuyer Education logo

Framework is the only online homebuyer course designed by experts in online learning. It’s comprehensive, so you’ll have all the facts you need to navigate every step of the buying process. And you can learn when, where, and how you like. It even works on your smartphone.

To get started, visit Framework. If you’d like to learn more first, watch this short overview video.

Framework meets many lenders’ requirements for homebuyer education, but check with yours to make sure an online course is acceptable.

Who to Contact:

For more information please contact Robbie, Ext. 118 at 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486 or email robbies@wcmca.org

Home Stretch® Homebuyer Education

Workshops for home ownership education are provided through Catherine Anderson-Barnes of the University of Minnesota Extension. Classes are a total of ten (10) hours in length, held in Alexandria on two (2) evenings. The classes provide extensive education on the people and processes involved in purchasing a home. Cost for classes are $45 and a certificate is awarded at the end that assists participants in qualifying for various loan products. Class schedules can be found on the Minnesota Home Ownership Center’s website at www.hocmn.org.

Who to Contact:

For more information please contact Robbie Stier, Ext. 118 at 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486 or email robbies@wcmca.org

March 2015 – September 2015

Home Stretch Workshop Schedule (PDF)

Housing Counseling Program

What is the Housing Counseling Program?

Provides assistance in helping first-time home buyers in determining how much home they can afford, if they have an adequate credit score to qualify for a loan, what types of down payment and loan products they may qualify for and general information on the process and players involved in the home purchasing process.

Who to Contact:

For more information please contact Robbie Stier, Ext. 118 at 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486 or email robbies@wcmca.org

You can download the Housing Counseling Program application (PDF) and either mail or fax to:

Robbie Stier
411 Industrial Park Blvd
Elbow Lake MN 56531

Fax: 218-685-6741