Community Development Department

Activities of the Community Development Department include encouraging economic development and redevelopment efforts, administering the zoning code and development review process, and performing inspections on commercial and residential projects.  Click on the links below or contact a staff member on the left for more information.

Winona Downtown Strategic Plan
Winona Downtown Strategic Plan
Economic Development

Responsible for the administration, operation and implementation of City and Port Authority economic development activities.

Demographics 2018

Financing Programs: Business Assistance/Loans

Port Authority of Winona
Port Authority Website
Housing & Community Development

The City of Winona Housing and Community Development Division is dedicated to promoting decent and affordable housing, marketing sites for redevelopment, business development, improving our aging housing stock, and assisting low to moderate income homeowners.  We accomplish this through encouraging energy sustainability, expanding homeownership, and enhancing the quality of life in Winona.  Through collaboration with other organizations and connecting with members of the Winona Community we can meet the needs of Winona residents and envision a future with beautiful, healthy neighborhoods.  Building Our Winona Together!

Housing & Community Development Staff
Nick Larson, Community Development Specialist     
Jayne Meier, Administrative Assistant/GIS                

The Housing and Community Development Department administers and promotes Federal, State, and local funded programs.  These programs include the Downtown Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), Housing Rehabilitation Loan, Emergency Loan Program, and Minnesota Housing Loan products.

Housing Study 2016

City Of Winona Housing Task Force Recommendations

Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity

Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity

City of Winona does business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law (The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988). It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

  • In the sale or rental of housing or residential lot;
  • In advertising the sale or rental of housing;
  • In financing of housing;
  • In the provision of real estate brokerage service;
  • In the appraisal of housing; and
  • Blockbusting is also illegal.

Anyone who feels he or she has been discriminated against should file a complaint of housing discrimination with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).fairHousingLogo

1-800-669-9777 (toll free) or  1-800-927-9275 (TTY)

Downtown Revolving Loan Fund

City of Winona is administrating the Downtown Revolving Loan Fund designed to assist in financing rehabilitation of commercial structures in the downtown area of the City.  The eligible improvements for funding include, exterior renovation (tuck-pointing, glass replacement, storefront renovation, etc.), building code corrections (means of egress, sprinkler application, accessibility compliance, etc.), handicap accessibility (ramps, entrances, etc,), and preservation of the building’s original design and the heritage of downtown.

Below are documents outlining the program:

Downtown Revolving Loan Fund Brochure

Downtown Revolving Loan Fund Application

Downtown Revolving Loan Fund Guidelines

Revolving Loan Fund Application – PDF

Please feel free to call (507) 457-8250 or email for more information.

Housing Rehabilitation Programs

The City of Winona proactively pursues grant awards from various funding opportunities. As funding becomes available, staff administers awarded grants for a variety of housing and commercial property rehabilitation programs by providing financial assistance to homeowners and also commercial property owners.

The City of Winona is pleased to announce awards for housing rehabilitation projects from:

  • MN DEED: 2018 SCDP East Central Neighborhood Rehabilitation Program
  • Federal Home Loan Bank – Des Moines: The Ability Home Rehabilitation Program

These programs will further the City’s efforts to preserve affordable housing in the City of Winona by offering several programs to assist homeowners to rehabilitate their homes.

The City of Winona supports Fair Housing and is currently accepting applications for the programs listed above.  Informational brochures for each of the programs are listed on the bottom of the page.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Nick Larson, Community Development Specialist for the City of Winona at 507.457.8251 or

Program Eligibility

 To be eligible to participate you must:

  1. Be a City of Winona homeowner;
  2. Have all mortgage and real estate tax payments current;
  3. Meet the Program’s income eligibility limits.


Income eligibility is determined by the number of residents living in the home and the household’s gross yearly income. Gross income is defined as any income you and members of your household earn before taxes and other deductions. This includes work, overtime, social security, pensions, rental income, public assistance, estate or trust income, and any other income. To be eligible for the Program your household income must be less than the maximum income limits listed in the Program Brochure.

Ability Home Rehabilitation Program

2018 SCDP East – Central Neighborhood Rehabilitation Program

Emergency Housing Loan Program

This program is geared to assist eligible applicants with loan funds to make emergency repairs to their homes.  Common uses of these funds would be the repair or replacement of a heating system (boiler or force air), water main replacement, and accessibility improvements.  All emergency repair eligibility will be determined by the Department of Community Development.

Click on the links below for the emergency loan program brochure and for the emergency loan application.

Emergency Housing Loan Fund Brochure 2020

Emergency Assistance Application

Please feel free to contact the Community Development Office at (507) 457-8250 or email for further information.

Healthy Homes

“Healthy Homes” is a century-old concept that promotes safe, decent, and sanitary housing as a means for preventing disease and injury. There is a lot of emerging scientific evidence linking health outcomes such as asthma, lead poisoning, and unintentional injuries to substandard housing.

The links below are from the HUD website that provides valuable information to assist you in making your home healthier for you and your family.  More detailed information may be obtained directly from http://www.hud/gov

Seven (7) Tips For Keeping A Healthy Home – PDF

Healthy Homes Diagram Showing Areas Of Potential  Health Issues – PDF

Healthy Home Maintenance Checklist – PDF

Help Yourself To A Healthy Home Booklet – PDF

Home Buyer Education and Foreclosure Counseling

Home Buyer Education

Purchasing a home may be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and navigating today’s housing market can seem impossible.  Homeownership education is the single most effective tool for achieving successful homeownership.  Informed homebuyers are successful homeowners.  Home Buyer Education workshops are designed to help the first-time home buyer gain a working knowledge of the buying process, and you have the choice of  online or in person classes.  HomeStretch workshops offers In-Person homebuyer education in a classroom style, taught by experienced professionals who will prepare you for homeownership, how to avoid scams, choosing the right mortgage, and preparing for your closing.

FRAMEWORK® offers homebuyer education in an on-line format where you can complete the coursework on your schedule.

To learn more about HomeStretch and FRAMEWORK®, please see information provided by two providers in southeast Minnesota:

Financial Counseling

The potential loss of a home through foreclosure is perhaps the most overwhelming circumstance that may be encountered by a homeowner.  Threat of foreclosure impacts the family in many ways. The stress of possibly being homeless is crushing. The loss of all the money invested in closing costs and loan payments can create serious financial hardship. A previous foreclosure can make the purchase of another home very difficult.

However, with prompt, appropriate action when problems first arise, foreclosure can sometimes be prevented. Counseling provides homeowners, who expect to or have encountered difficulties making their mortgage loan payments, with free individual counseling from a certified foreclosure prevention counselor. In a confidential setting, the counselor helps the homeowner consider the following:

  • Assessment of their situation
  • Evaluation of available options
  • Development of a recovery plan

To learn more about Financial Counseling, please see information provided by two providers in southeast Minnesota:

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) is the state’s housing finance agency.  For more than 40 years, they have worked to provide access to safe, decent and affordable housing and to build stronger communities across the state.  From first-time buyers to current owners, Minnesota Housing has affordable loan programs to meet your needs.  Click here to learn how the process works.

To explore the variety of products Minnesota Housing offers and to find approved Winona lenders servicing Minnesota Housing products, please use the links below:

I’m a first-time homebuyer (or have not owned a home in the past three years):

I’m a repeat homebuyer (currently own or owned in the past three years and want to buy a different home):

I want to refinance my home:

I want to repair, remodel or make energy saving improvements to my home:

Useful Links

Useful links to Home Ownership Education and other funding organizations:

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF)
332 Minnesota Street
Suite 1201- East
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone : (800) 277-2258 or (651) 221-1997
Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency (MHFA)
400 Sibley Street
Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55101-1998
Phone : (800) 657-3769 or (651) 296-7608
MN Dept. of Health
625 Roberts Street North
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
Phone : (888) 345-0823 or (651) 201-5000
204 South Elm Street
P.O. Box 549
Rushford, MN 55971-0549
Phone: (507) 864-7741
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Minneapolis Field Office
920 Second Avenue South
Suite 1300
Minneapolis, MN 55402-4012
(612) 370-3000
How to Get a Mortgage: 9 Steps to buying a house
Consumer Affairs
297 Kingsbury Grade, Suite 1025, Mailbox 4470
Lake Tahoe, NV 89449-4470
(866) 773-0221