Twin Oaks housing project

HRA Housing Project Master Plan

When county officials announced they’d purchased 109 acres off Hwy. 3 in Faribault for the Public Safety Center in late 2021, they suggested part of the land could be used for housing.

Housing for many Rice County families, particularly first-time homebuyers, is often out of reach. Residential developers have found they can build similar-size homes for the same cost in the Twin Cities metro but sell them for far more than they can in Rice County. And while multi-family units, particularly apartment buildings have opened in recent months, construction of new homes continues to sputter.

The first phase of the project is a partnership between the Rice County Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Rice County Habitat for Humanity and Three Rivers Community Action. As many as 22 homes could eventually be built on a total of 7 acres the county Board of Commissioners set aside for residential development.

Rice County Habitat for Humanity is serving as the project's developer and will ensure prospective buyers are income and credit qualified. Its volunteers are also expected to provide about $14,000 in in-kind services.

In June 2022, the HRA authorized a request for proposals asking developers to submit plans to build up to five six-bedroom units on about 1.5 acres just north of the planned Safety Center. The homes will be marketed as workforce housing, affordable to modest-income, first-time homebuyers.

In December 2022, the county was awarded $600,000 by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to help prospective homebuyers purchase one the neighborhood's six homes planned for construction. The funds will be used to assist qualifying residents with a down payment,

A master plan (above) was presented and approved by the HRA in April 2023. The name Twin Oaks was approved July 25, 2023.

Press releases

County seeks developer to help launch workforce housing project - June 15, 2022
State funds will help county add six homes to its housing stock - Dec. 28, 2022


Aug. 22, 2023

Twin Oaks project management RFP responses and request for approval

June 14, 2022

Request for Proposals narrative
Request for Proposals

July 7, 2022

Home Ownership Project Request for Proposals presentation
Rice County Habitat for Humanity RPF response 

April 25, 2023

Home Ownership Project Site Plan narrative
Home Ownership Project Site Plan presentation
Home Ownership Project approved site plan