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Work underway on Cloquet apartments

Construction is going smoothly on the new White Pine Apartment building next to Aspen Arms. Giant roof trusses are being set in place on top of the building while the green forklift brings sheetrock up to the second floor. A construction worker pulls the sheetrock off of the forklift and into the building. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

Construction of White Pine Apartments, located between Washington Elementary and Cloquet Senior High School, is well underway. After a slow start in 2018, the building is slated to be completed this fall.

"The project is coming along very well," said Debra Shaff, executive director of Cloquet and Carlton Housing and Redevelopment Authority. "There were some significant hurdles that had to be overcome in December, but the construction has continued on-pace."

The roof trusses are being installed this week. Machinery has been lifting roof trusses to the top of the wood building shell and lifting stacks of sheetrock into the upper floors for workers to pull in through open spaces.

There will be 35 rental units, including six one-bedroom units, 26 with two bedrooms and three units with three bedrooms. Seven of the units will have supportive contracts for residents with illnesses or mental health issues.

White Pine Apartments is expected to open by late September or early October.

BREAKOUT BOX:

Housing need by numbers

Minnesota has the highest proportion of cost-burdened households in the Midwest, and the number is growing:

• More than 1 in 4, or 572,133, households in Minnesota struggle to pay rent/mortgages. From 2015-17, the number increased to 26,000.

• Cost of rent rose in 86 of 87 counties between 2000 and 2017. The median cost went up 13 percent, while income fell 5 percent during the same time.

• There is a need for 179,400 extreme low-rent housing across Minnesota, but only 68,104 units available.

• Three of Minnesota's top in-demand jobs need to earn $2,006-$4,511 more annually to afford a two-bedroom home at fair-market price.

• More than 25 percent of senior citizens pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. By 2035, the number of senior citizens will increase about 64 percent.

Source: "State of the State's Housing 2019"

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