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Grand Forks group seeks tales of housing woes

A local nonprofit housing group is seeking stories and ideas about the Grand Forks area’s affordable housing shortage.

Through “focus groups,” the Grand Forks Community Land Trust wants to hear what anyone from the public has to say about affordable housing in the area, said Emily Wright, executive director.

People can share any experiences they have had struggling to find housing and any ideas they have for solutions, she said.

“We truly believe that all elements of housing are connected,” Wright said. “For me, I’m fortunate enough that I kind of have a voice on the housing problems in Grand Forks, and I want to make sure I have real stories to share.”

The first focus group, held in June, “went really well,” Wright said. About six to eight people attended and shared their difficulties with finding housing, she said.

The Community Land Trust did similar focus groups in 2010 when deciding how to structure the organization, which develops houses on donated land. Those houses are then sold for the cost of the house, but the land trust retains ownership of the land, decreasing the sale price.

The Community Land Trust has built four homes since starting in 2010 and has plans of building two to four more homes later this year on land donated by the city, Wright said.

The land trust’s second focus group is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in a land trust house, 213 Cottonwood Street.

Food from Green Mill will be served. Anyone who would like to attend should RSVP to, because space is limited, Wright said.

One other focus group is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. July 31.

On the Web: For more information on the Community Land Trust or the focus groups, visit or

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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