Project Based Vouchers Rent Assistance Program

The Project Based Voucher (PBV) program is a HUD-funded housing subsidy program that ties the federal rental assistance directly to a specific unit. This differs from the traditional tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which is connected to an eligible household.

Eligible households receive rental assistance by agreeing to live in existing, newly constructed, or rehabilitated PBV units. The households continue to receive assistance as long as they maintain their program eligibility and reside in the specific project-based dwelling units. If Metro HRA has HCVs available a household may be eligible to request a tenant-based voucher to move to a unit of their choice, after living in a PBV unit for 12 months. The PBV remains with the original unit.

Information for property owners and developers

Metro HRA will operate a PBV program using up to 20% of its authorized units for project-based assistance. PBVs are taken from the pool of vouchers. The Met Council does not receive additional housing vouchers specifically for PBVs.

The last PBV listening session was held in February 2023. It provided information to owners and developers regarding Metro HRA’s PBV program, including factors considered in whether to offer and award PBVs in 2023.

PBV assistance may be attached to new construction, rehabilitated units, or existing housing. To qualify as new construction, the proposal selection and execution of an agreement to enter into a housing assistance payments contract must occur prior to any construction. A housing unit is considered existing if, at the time of notice of the Metro HRA selection, the units substantially comply with federal inspection standards.

If an owner chooses not to renew the PBV Contract, the associated PBVs are converted back to tenant-based vouchers in the Housing Choice Voucher program. Program rules require the notice to Metro HRA and tenants not less than one year prior to non-renewal.

If a property experiences a change in ownership, Metro HRA may transfer the PBV contract to the new owner. Owners must contact Metro HRA prior to transfer for approval.

Solicitation and selection of PBVs

The decision to issue or not to issue a competitive request for proposals (RFP) for PBVs is made annually. There is no guarantee PBVs will be offered or awarded each year.

Metro HRA considers the following when determining whether or not to offer Project-Based Vouchers (PBV) in a given year:

  • Overall voucher utilization
  • Current voucher turnover rates
  • Funding and budget
  • Balancing PBV and waiting list admissions
  • Other work plan initiatives 
Metro HRA last issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Mainstream and Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing PBVs in 2023. The deadline for submitting applications was April 27, 2023, 4:00 p.m. (CST).
 

Metro HRA advertises the availability of PBVs through a request for proposals (RFP) process, following the regulations contained in 24 CFR 983.51 (b) and (c) regarding solicitation and selection of proposals.

  • Metro HRA will issue an RFP prior to Minnesota Housing’s RFP process.
  • Metro HRA will take no action on PBV requests until Minnesota Housing has made its funding awards. Metro HRA will require a project to secure full financing by Tuesday, Dec. 31 the following year after award.
  • If Minnesota Housing does not approve the other financing requested to make the project financially feasible, Metro HRA will not consider the request for PBVs and a developer will need to reapply at a later date when PBVs are again offered.
  • If a project owner or developer submits an application for PBVs as existing housing and they do not need any additional financing, Metro HRA will consider that request (also after Minnesota Housing) has made its funding awards, along with other PBV requests.

Metro HRA will prioritize PBV projects located in its own operating area prior to considering projects outside of its jurisdiction. Metro HRA’s operating area includes Anoka and Carver Counties, and suburban Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, excluding the cities of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Bloomington, Plymouth, Richfield, and St. Louis Park.

Criteria

Possible Points

Project readiness including system and regulatory conformance, financial readiness and status of funding commitments and applicant’s capacity to manage the project. 15
Extent to which the project provides or preserves housing types that contribute to a full range of affordable housing choices, the addition of or preservation of affordable units in an Area of Concentrated Poverty or improved affordable housing choice in an Area of Affluence. 20
The extent to which the project integrates housing and tenant services for specialized populations such as people experiencing homelessness, people living with disabilities, veterans or other specialized population. 25
The extent to which the project supports mixed income through providing a variety of units at different income levels. 5
The extent to which the project supports housing for larger families needing three or more bedrooms. 10
Extent to which the proposed project maximizes connections between housing, centers of employment, education, retail and recreation uses through location or design.   15
The extent of local support for the proposed housing including project teams that involve partnerships among government, private for-profit, and nonprofit sectors and the local community.  10
Total Points 100

Sample timeline. RFP issued in March. Applications due in April. Letter of Intent issued in June. MN Housing RFP applications due in July. MN Housing makes funding awards in December. Met Council makes formal PBV awards in January.

Contact us

Chong Lao
HRA Manager, PBV Program and Quality Assurance
Chong.Lao@metc.state.mn.us