Livable Communities Demonstration Account (LCDA)

Focus on housing, jobs, and efficient growth

The Livable Communities Demonstration Account (LCDA) provides funding for projects that increase access to housing, jobs, services and transit in an effort to support more equitable, livable communities in the region.
 

LCDA program goals

  • Maximize connections between housing, jobs, and regional amenities like parks, trails, and cultural centers

  • Create more housing choices through introducing new housing types or preserving affordable housing, minimizing the project’s impact on climate change through sustainable site design and building practice

  • Contribute to an economically prosperous and equitable region by creating living wage jobs accessible to local workers

Announcements

 
2021 LCDA and TOD Technical Assistance Webinar Registration Open

Prospective applicants are invited to attend LCDA and TOD technical assistance webinars in April and May. Four webinars will be hosted addressing topics in 2021 grant criteria to help applicant teams develop competitive projects. Webinar topics, dates, and registration links are available under the Technical Assistance tab of the LCDA and TOD program pages.


LCDA and TOD 2021 Information Session 
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Learn about changes to the LCDA and TOD programs for 2021. We will talk about changes to scoring, additions to eligible activities, the 2021 schedule, funding amounts, and review the application process for both Pre-Development and Development. View the webinar slides. Watch the recording

Pre-development

Pre-development grants are for teams who are defining or redefining a project that will support Livable Communities and Thrive MSP 2040 goals. Eligible costs are for early-stage activities like design workshops, financial studies, project impact analyses, and community engagement. Reach out to the program officer for more information on the program and eligible costs. You can see what was funded in Spring and Fall rounds last year. 

Development

Development grants are for development or redevelopment projects that support Livable communities and Thrive MSP 2040 goals and are ready to begin construction within the 36-month grant period. Eligible costs may include stormwater management, public realm improvements, renewable energy systems, site acquisition and preparation, and rehab of affordable housing. Reach out to the program officer for more information on the program and eligible costs. You can also see what was funded last year

Scoring

  • Projects will no longer be scored on innovation, demonstration, or catalytic value. The scoring table has specific scoring details.    

  • New scoring table to focus on project outcomes, Pre-Development activity impacts on project, and project process (See Application Scoring tab for specifics) 

  • Housing Performance Scores are not included in the project score 

Eligible Activities
New eligible activities (See Eligible Activities tab for more specifics) 
  • Project-specific or district-wide stormwater management plans, heating and cooling plans, and district-wide waste management plans that conserve natural resources and mitigate impacts on climate change
  • Passive building design concept planning
  • Landscaping plans that will conserve natural resources, increase greenspace, and prioritize natural plants and pollinators
  • Develop public realm plans and outdoor recreation plans for affordable housing projects
  • Additional design work to include Universal Design features beyond local requirements
  • Physical or capital needs assessment or energy audits for rehab of affordable housing buildings and/or units
  • Understanding history of discrimination and land ownership in and around the project site and using that information to inform the future project
Schedule
  • Both rounds of Pre-Development funding will be awarded before the Development funding round. Any funds that were not awarded in the Pre-Development rounds can be added to available funding for Development. 
Funding
  • $500,000 is available in each round with an award limit of $150,000 per city per round. The previous award limit was $100,000 per city per round with $250,000 available each round. 
Project Data Profiles
  • Additional data to help support application questions is available this year, please reach out to the program officer with your site location to get a personalized data profile for your project.

Match amount: 25% of the total cost. Use this calculator to find the correct match amount by selecting a 25% match and entering the amount you are requesting for each item. Matches can be cash or in-kind. 

Award limits:  $150,000 per city per round

Application limits: Three per applicant per round

Grant terms: 24 months (two years) from the date of award

Extensions: One year 

$1 million is available for Pre-Development total with $500,000 available in each round. There is an award limit of $150,000 per city per round. This award limit is geographic, not by applicant. This means that two projects in the same city submitted by different applicants (for example, a city and a county), would still cound toward the $150,000 award limit. 

LCDA Pre-Development Timeline

April 21
Round One applications due at 3:00pm in WebGrants. Applications open one month before they are due.
June
Funding decision made by the Council
July 21
Round Two applications due at 3:00pm in WebGrants. Applications open one month before they are due.
September
Funding decision made by the Council

Livable Communities grants support specific project activities rather than giving money to the project as a whole. As part of the application the project team will list specific activities and estimated costs. Livable Communities grants cannot pay for work done before the grant is awarded. Keep this in mind as you think about what activities you plan to ask to be supported.

The eligibility table is an outline of costs that the Pre-Development grant can pay for. If there is a pre-development activity not on this list but your project team thinks it will help the development project better meet Livable Communities and Thrive goals, talk with the program officer.

Eligible Activities 

What: Proposed Project Outcomes
Environmental Sustainability 

  • Soil testing to determine feasible land uses that increase diversity or intensity on the project site (not environmental testing) 
  • Project-specific or district-wide stormwater management plans, district-wide heating and cooling plans, and district-wide waste management plans that conserve natural resources and mitigate impacts on climate change 
  • Passive building design concept planning to conserve natural resources and reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions 
  • Development of Travel Demand Management Plan or other strategies to reduce emissions in and around the project site 
  • Landscaping plans that will conserve natural resources, increase greenspace, and prioritize native plants and pollinators

Site Planning 

  • Development of site plans that increase density, intensity, and/or diversity of uses in the project area 
  • Development of public realm plans and/or outdoor recreation plans for affordable housing projects to improve access to outdoor recreations and community gathering space 
  • Public art design process to create an intentionally designed piece of public art which contributes to the identity or sense of place of the development project and/or surrounding neighborhood. The design process should include an artist or arts organization. 
  • Phasing or staging plans for an identified parcel or multiple contiguous parcels
  • Site selection between a small number of potential sites to maximize connections in and around the project site 
  • Additional design work to include Universal Design features beyond local requirements to increase accessibility in and around the project site
Affordable Housing
  • Physical or capital needs assessment or energy audits for rehab of affordable housing buildings and/or units (only eligible for units affordable at 60% of AMI with income restrictions in place for a minimum of 15 years)
Financial Models
  • Feasibility studies to determine project feasibility, a housing mix that increases housing choice or commercial mix to support living wage jobs, or a market study to determine the demand for the proposed development project or project elements
How and Who: Proposed Project Process and Project Partners to Support Equitable Development Strategies
  • Design workshops and community engagement activities that center those least represented and most impact by historic racial inequities (including but not limited to compensation for consultants leading work, participants, advisory committee members, childcare, food for engagement events*)
  • Community Benefits Agreement
  • Understanding history of discrimination and land ownership in and around the project site and using that information to inform the future project
  • Health Impact Assessment, displacement risk assessment and/or mitigation plan, equity analysis or impact analysis 
* Food amounts should be within Council limits and be purchased from DBE or DBE qualifying vendors

Ineligible Activities
  • Corridor, small area or station area plans
  • Area analysis of alternatives for market mix or financial feasibility
  • Strategies for land banking and acquisition
  • Building design/architectural work
  • Generic traffic study, environmental review such as AUAR, EAW, or EIS, appraisals, permits, etc…
  • Administrative overhead
  • Soft costs which are not directly related to an awarded grant activity 
  • Work done before the grant was awarded

Pre-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 pre-development grant activities will support a development project that meets Livable Communities and Thrive MSP 2040 goals, the project community engagement plan, and how ready the project team is to use the grant funds if they are awarded. The specific scoring criteria and weighting are in the scoring table.

Projects need to meet a minimum score to be eligible for funding. Meeting the minimum score does not mean your team will be awarded a grant, but not meeting the minimum score means your application will be disqualified from being able to get an award.

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

More information about the how the projects are scored is available in the LCDA Pre-Development 2021 Evaluation Explanation (PDF)
 

LCDA Pre-Development Scoring Table

Category
Criteria
Points

What: Proposed Project Outcomes

LCA and Thrive Goals
The proposed project would meet one or more of the following LCA and/or Thrive goals:
  • Increase choice in local housing options by adding new housing types and creating affordable housing opportunities. Priority for projects with deep affordability and/or serving a special population
  • Create or preserve permanent jobs opportunities with emphasis on accessible, living wage jobs
  • Intensify land uses on the site and take advantage of connections between housing, jobs, services and amenities across the region and in the project area, including accessibility and universal design
  • Minimize climate impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources
  • Support and incentivize the region’s economic competitiveness by furthering racial equity outcomes in access to affordable housing, access to living wage jobs, climate impacts, and regional connections
8
 

What: Proposed Pre-development Activity Outcomes

Pre-Development Activities
The pre-development activities will further the project’s ability to meet LCA and/or Thrive goals:
  • Create or preserve affordable housing, including depth of affordability, housing types, or special populations served, through activities such as public engagement, market studies, etc.
  • Create or preserve permanent, living wage jobs, through activities such as workforce training compatibility, business incubation, cooperative ownership models, public engagement, etc.
  • Create compact, efficient development, through activities such as density studies, market studies, design charrettes, etc.
  • Achieve connectedness within the project area through activities such as site design, micro-mobility studies, and accessibility and universal design development as well as across the region through activities such as parking/traffic studies, etc.
  • Use sustainable development practices that minimize greenhouse gas emissions and conserve/ protect natural resources, through activities such as stormwater designing and planning, renewable energy source feasibility, etc.
  • Maximize equitable outcomes in terms of race in the project area and for the region, through activities such as community benefits agreements, developing Health Impact Assessments, build capacity of development team to include equitable development strategies, etc.
15
 

How: Proposed Project Process

Process
  • Project process will include analysis of who will benefit most from the project and in what ways, and use findings to influence equitable development strategies and outcomes
  • Provide meaningful and appropriate engagement, including a variety of stakeholders that represent the demographics of the residential and/or workforce community, centering those under-represented and most impacted by the project
  • Project team will create deliverable summarizing the outcomes of the predevelopment activities with respect to LCA/Thrive goals
12
 

Who: Proposed Project Team

 
Who Is Involved
  • The strength of the partnership between the applicant (City/County/HRA/EDA) and development partner(s), including the level of support and engagement the applicant has with the project
  • The project team, including partners, is designed to reflect and be responsive to those underrepresented and most impacted by the project; or the predevelopment activities will seek to build such partnerships in a meaningful way
  • The project team is able to use the grant, if awarded, within the 24-month grant term
10
 
Total 
45
Applications must score at least 30 of the total 45 available 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 LCDA Pre-Development program. 

The Make-a-Map attachments and the resolution of support are required for the Pre-Development application. Site plans, elevations, and other renderings or supporting documents (perspectives, site photos, area plans, etc.) are not required but can be submitted if you have them completed.

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:

  • Parcel Map 
  • Aerial Map 
  • Overview 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.  

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.    

Context plan:

  • Clearly show the site and nearby amenities like parks, trails, plazas, schools, shops, libraries etc.   

Optional (if completed): You can submit up to 7 optional attachments to support your application. These can be site plans, elevations, perspectives, area plans, or other documents that show the context of your project or further explain project goals.

If you are submitting a site plan, the plan should include:

  • Scale bar, north arrow, and a title block listing the name of the project
  • Property lines, buildings, setbacks, sidewalks and/or trails, landscaping elements, stormwater management features, parking access, and location. 
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
Josiah Waderich, Senior Project Administrator, (651) 602-1297 Josiah.Waderich@metc.state.mn.us

Scoring

  • Projects will no longer be scored on innovation, demonstration, or catalytic value. The scoring table has specific scoring details.    

  • New scoring table to focus on project outcomes, Pre-Development activity impacts on project, and project process   

  • Projects need to meet a minimum equity score to be eligible for funding in addition to the minimum overall score 

  • Housing Performance Scores are not included in the project score

Eligible Activities
Photovoltaic (solar) panels are no longer eligible New eligible activities (see Eligible Activities tab for details)
  • Project-specific or district-wide stormwater management plans, heating and cooling plans, and district-wide waste management plans that conserve natural resources and mitigate impacts on climate change
  • Wayfinding elements
  • Playgrounds or outdoor recreational areas intended to serve residents of affordable housing developments  
  • Public community gardens or community gardens at affordable housing developments
  • Outdoor bike racks at affordable housing buildings
  • Affordable housing preservation and rehab
Schedule
  • Development applications will be due later in the year, after both Pre-Development rounds, and funding recommendations will be made in January of 2022. 
Process
  • Instead of design workshops, applicants can participate in a series of workshops related to the application scoring categories. 

Match amount: No match required

Award limits: If eligible applications from suburban communities exceed 60% of available funds no more than 40% of the funds may be granted to projects in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Application Limits: Three per applicant per round 

Grant terms: 36 months (three years) from the date of award

Extensions: Up to two years

$9 million available. If eligible applications from suburban communities exceed 60% of available funds no more than 40% of the funds may be granted to projects in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

LCDA Development Timeline

April & May
Technical assistance sessions on topics related to LCDA scoring
September 27
Applications due at 3:00pm in WebGrants
Early November
Applicants will be notified about the Step One review. Applications meeting the minimum score and the minimum equity score will move to Step Two.
January 2022
Funding decision made by the Council

Livable Communities grants support specific project activities rather than giving money to the project as a whole. As part of the application the project team will list specific activities and estimated costs. Livable Communities grants cannot pay for work done before the grant is awarded. Keep this in mind as you think about what activities you plan to ask to be supported.  

Some of the activities in the table are only eligible in some circumstances. Refer back to this list as you look through the eligible activity table.  

  • All affordable housing must be affordable for a minimum of 15 years at 60% or lower of AMI
  • Site acquisition is only eligible for affordable housing units or for jobs projects that improve access for low-income residents. Holding costs up to 5% of the requested site acquisition support or $100,000, whichever is less.Site acquisition is only eligible for affordable housing units or for jobs projects that improve access for low-income residents. Holding costs up to 5% of the requested site acquisition support or $100,000, whichever is less.
  • Support for activities that are eligible only for affordable housing units will be prorated to the percentage of affordable units in the project. For example, if 50% of the units are affordable, you can request up to 50% of the costs for that activity.
  • Design and engineering fees for eligible activities can be up to 10% of the total amount requested for that activity. For example, if you have $100,000 in public space requests, design and engineering fees can be up to $10,000. Design and engineering fees should be listed as line items in the requested activity section of the application. 

LCDA Development Eligible Activities

Eligible Activities
Ineligible Activities
Environmental Sustainability 
  • Infiltration swales or tanks
  • Landscaping that is an integrated part of the stormwater management system
  • Pervious pavement 
  • Green roofs
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Fuel cells; and
  • Wind turbines
  • Project specific or district-wide stormwater management, heating/cooling management, and waste management systems
  • Photovoltaic cells
Project Site
  • Public space that encourages social interactions through design or programming. Elements to create welcoming spaces can include, but are not limited to: 
    • lighting
    • landscaping
    • seating and furnishings
    • sidewalks and paths
    • Wayfinding elements 
  • Public art design process to create an intentionally designed piece of public art which contributes to the identity or sense of place of the development project and/or surrounding neighborhood. The design process should include an artist or arts organization. 
  • Public art features, including but not limited to murals, mosaics, and sculptures, which contribute to the identity or sense of place of the development project and/or surrounding neighborhood. To be considered public art, it must be led and fabricated by a professional artist and/or art organization.
  • Playgrounds or outdoor recreational areas intended to serve residents of affordable housing developments  
  • Public community gardens or community gardens at affordable housing developments 
  • Demolition and removal of existing structures.
  • Grading and soil correction to prepare a site for construction.
  • General landscaping elements 
  • City or neighborhood parks
  • Parks, playgrounds, or areas that are primarily for the use of the development project’s tenants or residents of market rate residential buildings 
  • Demolition, abatement, cleanup, removal, hauling or disposal of contaminated materials or debris.
  • Cleanup, removal, hauling or disposal of contaminated soil or debris.
Improved Connections
  • New streets or street extensions only for local public streets
  • Public sidewalks, or trails that enhance the pedestrian environment and connect the project to nearby uses and amenities
  • Site-integrated transit shelters
  • Outdoor public bike facilities or outdoor bike facilities for residents of affordable housing developments 
  • Extensions or modifications of local public utilities that directly serve the development project
  • Publicly available portion of shared-use parking structures
  • Enhanced broadband connections for affordable housing projects 
  • County road improvements
  • Private sidewalks, amenities or amenity spaces specifically serving market rate residential development projects
  • Perimeter sidewalks or boulevards that do not improve the bike or pedestrian experience
  • Surface parking and parking structures without a shared public component
  • Expansion or extension of local public utilities not directly related to the development project
  • Transit infrastructure or capital investments e.g., transit stations, station platforms, and park-and-ride facilities.
  • Regional parks or trails and trails that would otherwise be included within a city’s capital improvement budget
  • Trail, sidewalk, or road connections that do not directly connect to or support the project site.
Design and Community Engagement 
  • Design workshops and community engagement activities that center those least represented and most impact by historic racial inequities (including but not limited to compensation for consultants leading work, participants, advisory committee members, childcare, food for engagement events*)
  • Design and engineering fees for grant requested activities (up to 10% of the activity cost)
* Food costs should be within Council limits and be purchased from DBE or DBE qualifying vendors
  • Architectural and engineering fees related to the general site or building or not related directly to grant-funded elements specifically listed as “eligible”
  • Traditional public meeting engagement required by law 
Site Acquisition for Affordable Housing and Jobs
  • Site acquisition for affordable housing projects or projects focused on bringing jobs to low-income areas. Eligible sites acquired after the date of award or for sites acquired within 12 months before the application is due
  • Holding costs up to 5% of the awarded acquisition amount or $100,000, whichever is less. 
    • Eligible holding costs include property maintenance, insurance, and interest.
  • Acquisition activities more than 12 months before the award 
  • Acquisition for market rate housing or jobs not in low-income areas
  • Transactions between or among partnerships or other legal entities where any grantee, current or future subrecipient or other project partner has any ownership or site control interest in a property prior to the grant award 
  • Refinance, replace or supplant other sources of funding available to acquire or gain site control of the development project property.
  • Site assembly for lands to be used for transit infrastructure.
Affordable Housing Preservation and/or Rehab
  • Exterior improvements to bring the building to code or improve energy efficiency of the building. Examples include window replacement, roof replacement, exterior finishing replacement (brick siding, etc.), or mechanical system replacement (Savings from energy efficiency should be passed on to the residents)
  • Improvements to interior of affordable units to bring building to code, increase energy efficiency, and improve the quality of life of current or future residents. Examples include low flow plumbing fixtures or energy savings appliances.
  • Improvements to indoor communal spaces. Examples include improvements to community gathering rooms, fitness centers, and areas in which supportive services are offered. 
  • Improvements to building grounds and outdoor community gathering spaces. Examples include landscaping, playgrounds, greenspace, and community gardens. 
Affordable and market rate units should be identical and evenly distributed throughout the building(s)
  • Legal fees associated with preservation 
  • Upgrades to market rate units  
  • Relocation costs 

Development applications are scored in two steps. Step One is a review by a team of Metropolitan Council staff. Projects need to meet a minimum score in the Step One review to advance to the next round of review. Step Two is a review done by the Livable Communities Advisory Committee (LCAC). This 15-member review panel will make the final funding recommendation to the Council.   

Look through the scoring criteria and how each section is weighed to see how your project might score in the review process. In addition to the overall minimum score, applications need to meet a minimum equity score to be eligible for Step Two review.

LCDA Development Scoring Table

 

Step One

Step Two 

Category
Criteria
Points
Criteria
Points

What: Proposed Project Outcomes

Housing
  • Increase local housing choice and build community resilience by diversifying housing types or serving populations not currently served by the local housing market; priority given for projects with the deepest affordability
  • Increase regional housing choice by creating new affordable housing that furthers the City’s ability to meet their share of the region’s need for affordable housing, considering what the need is across affordability levels; or
    Preserve and rehabilitate affordable housing, prioritizing communities at highest risk of losing Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) and/or communities with higher rates of housing cost burdened households 
8
  • The new or preserved housing supports the future residents through design, programming/services, and/or mix of affordability
7
  • Support and incentivize the region’s economic competitiveness by furthering racial equity outcomes in housing access*
2*
Jobs
  • Create or preserve permanent employment opportunities with priority given to projects with living wage jobs
  • Create employment opportunities in the technology or environment sectors, and/or create/preserve industrial sites proximate to rail freight facilities or ports.
8 Create jobs that expand choices in employment either for the local community or the community the project intends to serve; and/or support the creation/preservation of small, locally or cooperatively owned businesses 7
  • Support and incentivize the region’s economic competitiveness by furthering racial equity outcomes in access to jobs*
2*
Compact, Connected Development
  • Intensify land uses and density on the site
  • Takes advantage of available connections between housing, jobs, services and amenities across the region using existing and planned transit and transportation systems
  • Increase diversity of land uses in the project area in a way that increases activity in the area and/or access to services and amenities
8
  • Provide design-led strategies that support or expand pedestrian, bicycle and other micro-mobility infrastructure in and around the project site, including accessibility and universal design features, especially those that contribute to larger existing or planned networks
7
  • Support and incentivize the region’s economic competitiveness by furthering racial equity outcomes in transit/transportation access*
2*
Environment and Livability
  • Maximize access to local and regional parks and trails through outreach, site design, or programming
  • Minimize greenhouse gas emissions
  • Conserve natural resources and follow sustainable site design practices
10
  • Create a welcoming public realm and access to green space that facilitates social interactions and increases community connections within and around the site, including accessibility and universal design features via location, programming or design
7
  • Optional narrative about project outcomes
2
 

How: Proposed Project Process

Process
  • Address or identify a specific residential and/or workforce community need that was identified in consideration of those least represented and most impacted by current and historic racial inequities*
  • Address the need for affirmative efforts to increase racial diversity and inclusion in the community, if current community residential and/or workforce demographics do not reflect a variety of races and ethnic backgrounds relative to the region*
10*
  • Provide meaningful engagement, including stakeholders that represent the demographics of the residential and/or workforce community, centering those under-represented and most impacted
7
  • Optional narrative about project process
1
 

Who: Proposed Project Team

Capacity 
  • The project team is able to use the grant, if awarded, within the 36-month grant term
  • The applicant and development partner(s’) plan to work together to complete grant activities
  • Local efforts to contribute to the project financially, considering the context of community capacity
10
  • The project team, including partners, is designed to be reflective of and responsive to those under-represented and most impacted by the project
5
Applications must score at least 40 of the total 60 Step One points to move to Step Two with 10 of the 16 equity points (*) awarded. 
Total 
100
Applications must score at least 65 of the total 100 available 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 LCDA Development 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. 

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.  

Required for Stormwater, Site Acquisition, and Community Engagement Requests: 

  • Stormwater management: A stormwater management plan that explains stormwater calculations for the site, outlines the stormwater management strategies, and supports the amount requested for stormwater management activities.  
  • Site acquisition: an appraisal, or broker price opinion, stating appraised value of the property being purchased with the site acquisition funds.  
  • A community engagement plan outlining what engagement has been done so far, how you plan to engage those least represented and most impacted by racial inequities, and how the engagement will shape your project going forward. 

 

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.

Development grants may be used as a loan for projects that include affordable housing partially financed through LIHTC. Grantees must enter into a loan agreement with the project owner and comply with additional reporting requirements.
 
Contact LCA Senior Project Administrator with questions regarding reporting requirements and grant follow-up
Josiah Waderich, Senior Project Administrator, (651) 602-1297 Josiah.Waderich@metc.state.mn.us
See LCA FAQs on the main page for more information about LCA programs

Should I apply to LCDA or TOD?
Reach out to the program officer for either or both programs to talk about where your project might be the best fit. We recommend self-scoring your project based on the scoring criteria for each program to see where you might be more competitive. It is helpful to pay attention to the category weighting in each program to better understand the priorities for each program. 

Can I apply to both LCDA and LCDA-TOD?
No. You should decide which program is a better fit for your project and apply to either LCDA or LCDA-TOD. You can also reach out to the program officer for either or both programs to talk about where your project might be the best fit.

I don’t have site control. Can I still apply?
Yes. You do not need to have site control to apply for the Development or Pre-Development program.

Can I get a Pre-Development grant and a Development grant?
Yes. Pre-Development grants are available to help projects become development projects that will help meet both LCA and Thrive goals. Projects are encouraged to apply for Pre-Development funds to support activities early on in the planning process to include LCA and Thrive goals before they come to the Development program.

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. 
The LCDA and TOD programs are offering a series of technical assistance workshops to help applicant teams develop competitive projects.

The technical assistance is broken out into two parts for each topic: a one-hour webinar about the topic and a three-hour workshop to go deeper into how that topic relates to your project. Workshop applications are now closed. All of the webinars are free and open to any interested project teams.

Project Process
Identifying community needs, specific project outcomes and impacts, and community engagement
Webinar: Tuesday, April 13, 9:00-10:00am
Watch the Webinar

Equity
How projects can contribute to reducing racial disparities in the region
Webinar: Tuesday, April 27, 9:00-10:00am
Register

Environment 
Conserving natural resources and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions 
Webinar: Tuesday, May 11, 9:00-10:00am *Time to be confirmed
Pre-Register

Design
Ensuring the project design connects to and addresses community needs, racial disparities, and sustainability goals
Webinar: Tuesday, May 25, 9:00-10:00am *Time to be confirmed
Pre-Register

For questions on the webinars or help registering please contact LCDA or TOD Program Officers.
 
Prefer a PDF document of the key program pieces?
The Program Essentials document has key dates, funding amounts, eligible activities, and the scoring table. 
LCDA Pre-Development 2021 Program Essentials (PDF)
LCDA Pre-Development 2021 Evaluation Explanation (PDF)
LCDA Development 2021 Program Essentials (PDF)
LCDA Development 2021 Evaluation Explanation (PDF)

Contact

Email is the best way to reach us because staff are working from home.

LCDA Program Officer: Hannah Gary
hannah.gary@metc.state.mn.us