housing

Rachel Whyte/HGTV

It costs more to build a house than it used to, but Duluth's challenging terrain makes the numbers - and your head spin.

Blasting through bedrock to put in utilities and other infrastructure can add $80 thousand dollars to a project right off the top.

Solution?  One of the ideas identified at the 2014 Housing Summit was a page right from HGTV's book: fix up, renovate and modernize aging houses and get existing, foreclosed and condemned properties back on the market.

©Deb Holman

$530 dollars a month bought a lot more in 1986.

If that number kept up with the cost of living, it would be closer to $1,400 in 2016 dollars.

But 30 years later, a family of three on MFIP (The Minnesota Family Investment Program - the state's welfare reform program for low-income families with children), is still getting the $530 per month.