Meet with us to talk about your project! 

Schedule a time to meet with the program coordinator for this grant program to talk about the scoring criteria, funding opportunities and how your project fits in. Schedule a time here.

Policy Development

The Policy Development program provides funding to participating cities to support locally adopted policies that influence physical development and further both LCA and Thrive MSP 2040 goals with an emphasis on equitable development. 

Policy Development Goals

  • Maximize the impact of Livable Communities Act dollars by supporting city-wide policies in the region that further LCA and Thrive goals
  • ​Support policy-level change that will realize more equitable development outcomes beyond individual projects


2023 Applications are now open!

Read over the information on this page and the head over to the Apply for LCA Grants page to learn more about the application process.

2023 Policy Development Webinar

Watch the webinar to learn more about the Policy Development program. The webinar will cover important information for the 2023 Policy Development Program including funding amounts, eligible activites, scoring criteria and changes for 2023.
Watch the webinar here.

  • More emphasis on policy outcomes in scoring ​

  • Staff time towards policy development is now eligible ​

  • 25% refundable match from the City

Match amount: 25% match from the City. This will be refunded when the final policy is brought to the City Council.

Award limits: $50,000 per city (inclusive of up to $300,000 per city for Pre-Development awards)

Application Limits: One per city or county applicant

Grant terms: Two years

Extensions: Up to one year

Excess available funding: If funding applied for or awarded through Pre-Development/Policy Devlopment is less than the funding available, the remaining funds may be made available for award through the regular LCDA or TOD Development categories

The funding for the Policy Development program is shared with the Pre-Development funding in Round One and Round Two, which will have a base amount of $2 million. Any remaining funds from Round One of Pre-Development will be added to the amount available in Round Two. There is a $50,000 award limit per city for the Policy Development program which is inclusive of the $300,000 award limit per city for Pre-Development awards.

Policy Development Timeline

April 21st
Round One applications due
Round One awards decision
July 21st
Round Two applicaitons due
Round Two awards decision

The Policy Development program can support creating locally adopted, enforceable policies that have an impact on physical development city-wide or in a specific defined area, for example a station area. The funds can only pay for activities that happen after the grant is awarded. Any work that was completed before award won’t be eligible. Like with other LCA programs the funds will be awarded as reimbursements for work completed.

Eligible Activities 

What: Proposed Project Outcomes
Policy Development

  • Consultant services to develop a policy that will further LCA and Thrive goals
  • Staff time directly related to developing an eligible policy that will further LCA and Thrive goals
Ineligible Activities
  • Work done before the grant was awarded
  • General staff time not directly related to policy development

Policy development applications are scored by a review panel of Community Development staff at the Metropolitan Council. The review panel will look to see how much the Policy Development grant activities will support a policy that meets Livable Communities and Thrive goals as well as engagement around developing the policy. The specific scoring criteria and weighting are in the scoring table.

Look through the scoring criteria and how each section is weighed to see how your project might score in the review process.

,A word document of the application questions can be found here.

More information about the how the projects are scored is available in the Policy Development 2023 Evaluation Explanation (PDF). We strongly recommend that you review this document as you complete your application

Policy Development Scoring Table

While we recognize there are different types of inequities based on identity and circumstance, LCA is focused on addressing racial inequity in the region given race is the largest predictor of inequitable outcomes in jobs, housing, and other LCA goals. Projects addressing racial equity will be prioritized in scoring. Projects addressing other inequities will earn points towards how they address those inequities but will not receive full points unless they also consider the intersection of racial inequity.

What: Policy Development Outcomes

The goals and vision of the proposed policy would meet one or more of the following LCA and/or Thrive goals:
LCA and Thrive Goals
  • Support affordable housing by allowing for more development of new affordable housing or preservation of existing affordable housing
  • Support wealth building and economic opportunity for residents experiencing most economic hardships
  • Minimizing climate impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources
  • Realize more equitable outcomes in affordable housing, living wage jobs, climate impacts, transportation, and regional connections
  • Support more equitable development outcomes in physical developments and/or through city process to approve physical developments

How: Policy Development Process

The process will include analysis of who will benefit most from the policy and in what ways, and use findings to influence equitable development strategies and outcomes 10

Who: Policy Development Team

Who is Involved
The project team has a defined scope of work with tangible goals 10
Total Possible Points
Applications must score at least 25 of the possible 50 points

After reviewing the funding availability, timeline, and eligibility sections please visit the Apply for LCA Grants page for details on how to apply for the Policy Development program.

A resolution of support from your City Council is required for application to the program. 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

Required Documents
Scope of Work that will guide the consultant you intend to hire

Grantees submit semi-annual reports outlining ongoing project progress. These progress reports are supplemented by details provided in each payment request. Depending on the activities included in your grant award, there may be additional reporting requirements. These will be included in the grant agreement. For example, projects awarded funding for community engagement should document the engagement process and submit a final report with their final payment request.

A final report is required with the last payment request. The final report will ask about project successes, the impact of the grant funding, and any challenges in completing the project.

As a grantee you are responsible for alerting the LCA grants administration team of any changes to the project. The grant administrator will work with you to decide if there needs to be an amendment to your grant agreement based on the project changes.
Contact LCA Senior Project Administrator with questions regarding reporting requirements and grant follow-up
Samuel Johnson, Senior Project Administrator, (651) 602-1757

See LCA FAQ page for more information about LCA programs
Will the program pay for work done before the grant was awarded?
No, with the exception of site acquisition for affordable housing or jobs projects in low-income areas. Other than site acquisition, the grant money can only pay for work done after the grant is awarded. More information about paying for site acquisition is available in the Eligible Activities tab. 
What if the policy deosn't get adopted by our City Council?
We understand that not all policies will be adopted by City Council but believe there is value in the process of developing a proposed policy. The 25% City match will be refunded to the City when the policy is brought to City Council for adoption. We expect that staff work to build support for the proposed policy and consider the likelihood of adoption before bringing the policy to the City Council. 
Prefer a PDF document of the key program pieces?
The Program Essentials document has key dates, funding amounts, eligible activities, and the scoring table. 
Policy Development 2023 Program Essentials (PDF)
Policy Development 2023 Evaluation Explanation (PDF)

Policy Development Program Coordinator

Hannah Gary (she/her)