Community Development

Providing essential planning & technical assistance to local communities, and parks and open space

Regional Systems Planning and Growth Strategy

This unit is responsible for helping the Council to shape its regional growth plan —ThriveMSP 2040 – and to coordinate outreach efforts related to the plan. This unit also includes the Council’s parks and open space program, which helps the Council oversee the acquisition and development of regional parks. The parks are operated by 10 partnering cities and counties. The Council also annually allocates state funds to cover a small share of the cost of parks operation and maintenance.

Local Planning Assistance

This unit coordinates the review of local comprehensive plans prepared by local governments, which deal with transportation needs, land use, housing, parks and other issues. It provides technical assistance to communities that are amending their comprehensive plans or working to carry them out.

Livable Communities

This unit administers the Livable Communities programs, which provides funding for cities to invest in local economic revitalization, affordable housing initiatives, and development or redevelopment that connects various land uses, creates community identity, and has good access to transportation.

Metro HRA

The Council’s housing and redevelopment authority, Metro HRA administers the federal Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program in communities throughout Anoka, Carver, and most of suburban Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. The program uses the existing private rental market to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for about 6,800 low-income seniors, disabled individuals, families and singles at an affordable cost.

Parks and Natural Resources

This unit works closely with our ten regional park implementing agencies and other partners to plan, fund, and support the operation and development of the Regional Parks System, so that this system remains the jewel of our region for all residents.


This unit collects, analyzes and provides data about the region, forecasts growth trends and analyzes other regional trends.

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