The Metropolitan Council awarded $5.5 million in grants for affordable housing, including six multifamily rental developments and five homeownership initiatives. Met Council officials say it’s the largest award from the affordable housing fund in the 25-year history of the Livable Communities program.
The Met Council’s Livable Communities program is a voluntary, incentive-based approach to helping communities invest in economic development and housing choices, and promote connections between transportation options and land use.
Awards are part of a broader statewide affordable housing initiative
Grants are competitive. Eligible applications are reviewed by staff from Minnesota Housing, Hennepin County, the Federal Home Loan Bank, and Met Council. Our awards are part of a broader allocation of funds by Minnesota Housing and funding partners which, combined, awarded $69 million to 64 rental and homeownership projects.
The collaborative statewide annual initiative will assist the construction of 670 new affordable units, and the rehabilitation or preservation of 392 affordable housing units.
Affordable housing awards provide more housing choices
The affordable housing proposals recommended for Met Council awards support housing development, preservation, and affordability opportunities. They include both new construction and rehabilitation of rental and ownership units that improve housing choices in areas that will benefit from more housing stability and diversity.
The Met Council’s investment will help create 360 new units of affordable rental housing, eight units of affordable ownership homes, and preserve 12 units of affordable ownership housing.
Awards from the Met Council’s Livable Communities Fund will help leverage almost $38 million in private investments and over $50 million in other public investments to provide safe, affordable housing to low- and moderate-income residents in the metro area.
“The Twin Cities region is woefully short on the production of housing and affordable housing,” said Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “I’m pleased that the Council and state continue to be committed to investment in homes for low-income people and families, recognizing that we have a long way to go to meet the needs of people who live here and the businesses who rely on an ample workforce. “
Six cities earn awards for multifamily rental developments
Emma Norton Residence 2.0, Saint Paul: $1,918,140 toward 60 units of supportive housing near the Ford redevelopment site to serve homeless women with histories of trauma.
Fire Station One, Minneapolis: $1,051,860 to assist new construction of a 90-unit, six-story building that will provide affordable housing to the general public, work force, and homeless.
Bethesda Cornerstone Village, Oakdale: $750,000 to assist in the construction of a new 65-unit mixed-income development. It will be a single building with a 50-unit affordable component and 15 units of market-rate housing.
Bottineau Ridge Phase II, Maple Grove: $600,000 toward construction of a 50-unit development with transitional and supportive housing serving people with disabilities as well as individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
West Creek Apartments, Chaska: $500,000 toward a new, 18-unit supportive housing development for unaccompanied homeless youth, ages 18-29.
Settler’s Ridge Apartments, Woodbury: $250,000 toward a new, four-story 84-unit apartment building with affordable rents.
Land trusts among recipients of single-family ownership grants
Homes Within Reach, West Hennepin Affordable Housing Land Trust: $210,000 to assist the purchase, rehabilitation, and resale of eight homes in suburban Hennepin County. The land trust will ensure that the homes are not only affordable to the initial buyer but will remain affordable to subsequent low-income homebuyers as well.
Own Street Home 2021, Cities of Cottage Grove, Forest Lake, Oakdale, Woodbury: $90,000 to help purchase, rehabilitate, and sell three Community Land Trust homes in Washington County.
Project for Pride in Living Greenbelt Homes, Minneapolis: $60,000 to support the construction of five homes in the Hawthorne EcoVillage neighborhood of North Minneapolis. The project expands the PPL’s redevelopment work in the village, a four-block cluster of new and renovated homes with community green space.
Acquisition, Rehabilitation, Resale + ADU Addition; Saint Paul: $40,000 toward the purchase and rehabilitation of a single-family home in the Railroad Island neighborhood with an accessory dwelling.
Ernst Home Townhome Project, Chaska: $30,000 that will help rehabilitate a three-unit townhome development near the historic Ernst House.
Grants promote prosperity, economic development and housing affordability
Since the Livable Communities program was established, the Met Council has awarded nearly $43 million from the program’s affordable housing fund, leveraging $1.3 billion in other public and private investment, creating nearly 5,300 new units of affordable housing, and preserving or rehabilitating more than 3,300 affordable units.
To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro area cities must participate in the Livable Communities program, which provides funding for:
- Affordable housing
- Development that promotes mixed-use and connected land uses linking housing, jobs, and services
- Brownfield or polluted-site cleanup
- Transit-oriented development
Nearly 100 metro area cities participated in the program in 2020.