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Housing help from SEMCAC


Mon, Sep 12th, 2011
Posted in Home & Garden

Fall is almost here, and this time of year many people start getting their homes ready for winter. However, many people out there are not able to afford to get their homes ready, or to fix safety and code issues. There are people who are not able to get a loan from a bank to do the necessary work, and SEMCAC Community Action Agency is there to help.

SEMCAC helps people in six counties. In 2010, there were 880 households in Fillmore County alone that received Energy Assistance. With this program, applicants receive grant money that pays for a percentage of their heating bill during the winter. The grant is sent directly the heating company. People can also ask to have 30 percent of it sent to their electric company.

According to Sue Thompson from SEMCAC, qualification is determined by a few different factors. "It depends on the number of people in the household, as well as income for the previous three months before applying." Thompson added that it also depends on the type of heating the house has. The grant pays a percentage of what it cost to heat the house the year before.

Families that qualify for heating assistance are automatically screened for the Weatherization program. This is a federally funded program that helps people do home improvements that will improve the energy efficiency in their homes. Things like exterior wall and attic insulation, as well as windows, are worked on to improve efficiency and therefore help save energy costs during the winter. Priority is given to homes with at least one senior citizen, someone with a disability, or a child in the home.

Another program that helps families in need to keep and improve their homes is the Housing Rehab program. Cindy Vitse of SEMCAC explained the loan is funded through the MN Housing Development. The loan has a few stipulations.

"It's income-based, according to the number of people that live in the household, said Vitse. "They have to own the home and live their six months prior to applying. They have to be current with their payments, be current with their property taxes, and have insurance on the house."

Another stipulation is that people must have less than $25,000 in assets, which does not include the house and one car. They receive a 15-year mortgage against the property, or 10 years for a mobile home in a mobile home park. There are no monthly payments, and the loan is forgiven if they remain in their homes for the time of the mortg .....
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Habitat for Humanity now seeking partner families in Harmony and Utica

Mon, Aug 15th, 2011
Posted in Home & Garden

Looking for an affordable opportunity to buy a simple, decent home?

Habitat will be hosting an application open house on Wednesday, August 24th from 5-7 PM at Merchants Bank in St. Charles. Habitat volunteers will be on hand to assist with t ..... 
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Deep Energy Reduction open house at Eagle Bluff

Mon, Aug 8th, 2011
Posted in Home & Garden

Everyone wants to save money these days. And the Eagle Bluff residence has been retrofitted to become more energy efficient to do just that.

Learn what you can do to update your home to minimize energy use and utilize local products in your ..... 
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KDEC home, sport and garden show set for March 6

Fri, Feb 25th, 2011
Posted in Home & Garden

Early response to the annual Decorah Home, Sport and Garden Show has been strong, with a combination of past exhibitors and first-timers set to show their products and services.

The 28th Annual Show is scheduled for Sunday, March 6th, at Dec ..... 
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Recycling 101

Fri, Aug 13th, 2010
Posted in Home & Garden

Does the Fillmore County Recycling Center accept clothing for recycling? Yes, we have for many years and continue to do so today. At one time, there was a large container near the fiber section of the recycling center where you could deposit unwante ..... 
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Tomato tasting and seed saving workshop September 4

Fri, Aug 13th, 2010
Posted in Home & Garden

Seed Savers Exchange near Decorah, Iowa, is hosting a free Tomato Tasting and Seed Saving Workshop on Saturday, September 4, 2010. The Tomato Tasting will run from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, offering visitors the opportunity to sample a wide variety of heirloo ..... 
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Recycling 101

Fri, Aug 6th, 2010
Posted in Home & Garden

Does the Fillmore County Recycling Center accept clothing for recycling? Yes, we have for many years and continue to do so today. At one time, there was a large container near the fiber section of the recycling center where you could deposit unwante ..... 
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Lanesboro Local Farm and Garden tour

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Home & Garden

Want some perspective on where good food actually comes from? "Bring a camera, a cooler and unleashed curiosity," suggests Nancy Martinson, board chair of Lanesboro Local.

The Farm & Garden Tour kicks off at 11 a.m. July 31 with a trio of st ..... 
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Low interest loan for well replacement

Fri, Jul 16th, 2010
Posted in Home & Garden



The Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is planning on pursuing funding to initiate a revolving low interest loan fund for well replacement in Fillmore County. The fund will operate similar to the revolving loan fund that wa ..... 
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