LHIA Affordable Homeownership Pilot

Focus on affordable homeownership opportunities

LHIA grants support the production and preservation of affordable rental and ownership housing to help municipalities meet their negotiated LCA housing goals.

The LHIA Affordable Homeownership Pilot will provide grants to support affordable homeownership development, including acquisition and rehabilitation, for projects that best meet the following two priorities:

  • Racial Equity Priority: create homeownership opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and other ethnic or racial groups that own homes at disproportionately lower rates than white households in the region; and
  • Geographic Choice Priority: create affordable homeownership opportunities in parts of the region where it is most challenging to do so.

Announcements 


2022 LCA General Information Webinar Session

March 3, 2022
The webinar covers all of the LCA programs for 2022. Learn about changes to programs, new programs to 2022, the 2022 schedule, funding amounts, and other opportunities to learn more about specific programs.
Listen to the webinar here

This is a new program for 2022

LHIA Affordable Homeownerhip Pilot applications will be processed directly by the Metropoiltan Council, to learn more about the process for application please visit our Apply to LCA page or see the Application Requirements tab below.

Match amount: Dollar per dollar

Award limits: None

Application Limits: None

Grant terms: Three years from time of award

TBD

LHIA Timeline

Sept/October
Applications due
December
Award decisions are made
January 2023
Metropolitan Council LHIA funding awards

Local Housing Incentives Account (LHIA) grants, including the Affordable Homeownership Pilot support primarily hard costs related to the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. Land acquisition costs may be an eligible use of grant funds. LHIA grants do not pay for work done before the grant is awarded with the exception of reimbursement of qualifying land acquisition costs incurred no more than 12 months prior to the date of award.

Eligible Uses for LHIA grants

  • Gap financing costs, including land acquisition
  • Property (structure) acquisition
  • Demolition
  • Site preparation (e.g., water, sewer, roads)
  • General construction/structural additions
  • Alterations and rehabilitation
  • Interior and exterior finishing
  • Roofing
  • Electrical, plumbing, and/or heating and ventilation

Ineligible Uses for LHIA grants

  • Soft costs, or administrative overhead
  • Bonds and insurance
  • Legal fees
  • Permits
  • Travel
  • Grant/bid preparation costs
  • Cleanup/abatement costs
  • Resident services and/or operations
Additional Factors Affecting Eligibility 
Only LCA participating cities will be able to apply for grants through the pilot program.
Additional eligibility criteria includes:
  • Ensure a dollar-for-dollar local match
  • Provide an affordable homeownership opportunity for a household earning 80% Area
  • Median Income (AMI) or less
  • Provide a minimum affordability term of 15 years
  • Require Home Stretch or similar homeowner education for first-time homebuyers

Pilot proposals that meet eligibility requirements are reviewed by a team of Metropolitan Council staff and be scored in the following three categories:

  • Pilot priorities
  • Equitable access
  • Unique needs and affordability

The pilot scoring structure includes two steps:

Step 1: Scoring in step one evaluates the project location’s ability to achieve the pilot program’s priorities of racial equity and geographic choice. A minimum score of 5 points, out of a maximum of 17, is required to move forward to Step 2. Council data is available to complete Step 1 scoring internally as long as the project location is known.

 

Step 1: Scoring for Pilot Priorities

 

Racial Equity

Criteria
Points
Project is in a city with higher racial disparities in homeownership than the regional average 5
OR Project is in a census tract with higher racial disparities in homeownership than
the regional average
3
Project is in a city with a higher share of Black, Indigenous, and other residents of color than the regional average 3
OR Project is in a census tract with a higher share of Black, Indigenous, and other residents of color than the regional average 2
Highest possible total for Racial Equity 8

Geographic Choice

Criteria
Points
Project is in a city with an average home sale price higher than what is affordable to a household earning 80% AMI 5
OR Project is in a city with an average home sale price higher than what is affordable to a
household earning 60% AMI
3
Project is in a city where the share of single-family housing stock is higher than the regional average 2
Project is in a city with an affordable housing need less than 20 OR more than 50% of their need is in the 51-80% affordability level 2
Highest possible total for Geographic Choice 9
Highest possible score for Step 1 
17
A minimum of 5 points would be required to ensure the project sufficiently addresses one or both pilot priorities

Step 2: Step two evaluates the individual project’s ability to achieve pilot program goals; ensuring populations with lower homeownership rates than white residents have equitable access to the affordable homeownership opportunity that’s being funded, the proposal’s ability to meet unique local needs, and the proposal’s ability to provide deeper and/or longer affordability.
 

Step 2: Scoring for Equitable Access & Unique Needs and Affordability

 

Equitable Access

Criteria
Points
Developer or program partner has a demonstrated record of serving Black, Indigenous, and/or other households of color in homeownership at rates equal to or greater than the city and or region’s homeownership rates for those same groups 3
Developer or program partner has current waiting list consisting of Black, Indigenous, or other households of color at levels equal or greater to the regional and/or city population 3
Project team includes a lender, realtor, or other homebuyer-facing team member that is reflective of the Black, Indigenous, or other households of color that have disparate homeownership rates in the region 2
Project will be made available to a first-generation homebuyer 2
Marketing efforts for sale of the project affirmatively further fair housing 1
Other efforts as described by applicant that further equitable access to homeownership Up to 11
Total for Equitable Access 11

Unique Needs & Affordability

Criteria
Points
Project addresses a need specific to the community in which the project is located, through financing, marketing, design, size or other unique need 3
Project will be affordable to homebuyers earning less than 80% AMI 3
Project will remain affordable upon resale for more than 15 years 3
Project is located in a city with a net fiscal disparity of $200 or more per household 1
Total for Unique Needs & Affordability 10
Highest possible score for Step 1 & Step 2
38

After reviewing the funding availability, timeline, and eligibility sections please visit the Apply for LCA Grants page for details on how to apply for LHIA Affordable Homeownership Pilot grants. 

Saving Documents
Please save all documents as compressed PDF files with the naming format: [Applicant_Project_AttachmentName]. For example, a site plan from City Y for their Downtown Development would be named City Y_Downtown Development_Site Plan. Contact the program officer if you have any questions about how to save or attach any of the required documents. 

From the online Make-A-Map tool:

  • Overview Map  
  • Aerial Map 
  • Parcel Map 
Make-a-Map Instructions
  • Enter an address or landmark in the search bar to navigate to your project area. 

  • Click “Sketch the Project” and select “Livable Communities Demonstration Acct” from the dropdown menu. Provide a name for your project. 

  • Use the zoom and pan buttons to navigate to your project site. Click “Sketch a Boundary” and, using the crosshair as a guide, draw the project boundary. A gray polygon with a red outline will begin to appear. Once you have finished outlining the boundary, double click to close the polygon. If there are multiple, non-contiguous parcels that are part of your project, you have the option of sketching another boundary. 

  • Select “Print” and “Create the maps”. The system will generate three maps for LCDA; a Parcel Map, Overview Map, and Aerial Map. Please be patient – depending on your connection, it can take up to one minute to generate the maps. 

  • Click each PDF to download them separately. See “Saving Documents” as a reminder for how to name each of the three Make-a-Map documents. 

Other required attachments:  

  • Grant Requested Activities Plan A site plan clearly showing the location of each requested grant activity. If you are requesting funds for something that covers the entire site, like site prep, just make a note on the plan that the activity will cover the entire site.  
  • Site Plan A plan of the entire site showing all ground floor uses, vehicle, bike, and pedestrian entrances, public and semi-public spaces, and transit stations and/or stops.  
  • Context Map A map showing the site and nearby amenities like parks, trails, plazas, schools, shops, libraries etc. 
  • Elevations To-scale street, site and building sectional drawings that show how buildings meet the ground, the articulation of the façade and the interior uses of the building, as well as the design of the spaces between buildings if more than one.  
  • Perspective A ground perspective from any adjacent streets.  
  • Resolution A resolution of local support from the applicant. Sample resolutions for projects coming from cities and counties or development authorities are available in the LCA Resource Library.  

Is there a match required for LHIA awards?
Yes, the applicant (government organization) needs to match the award dollar for dollar.

If a developer can apply directly to LHIA, does the developer receive the grant award directly?
No. The funds will still be awarded to the government organization that is part of the project team. To make sure that the government organization supports a developer applying, the organization has to submit an Acknowledgement of Receptivity form. A sub-recipient agreement between the government partners and the development partner is highly recommended.

Who receives the grant if the project is in multiple cities or counties?
Multiple government organizations can and are encouraged to partner on applications. The team will need to decided on a single organization to receive the award. All organizations on the team should be included in the grant application.
 

Multi-use building funded by LHIA.

LHIA funding helps preserve and expand lifecycle and affordable rental and ownership housing in the metropolitan area. Grants assist in preserving existing affordable housing stock, providing workforce housing choices, increasing homeownership opportunities for underserved populations, and exhibiting strong implementation partnerships.

Prefer a PDF document of the key program pieces?

The Program Essentials document has key dates, funding amounts, eligible activities and the scoring criteria.
LHIA Affordable Homeownership 2022 Program Essentials (PDF)

LHIA Affordable Homeownership Program Coordinator

Ashleigh Johnson (she/her)
ashleigh.johnson@metc.state.mn.us