Council awards record $8 million for affordable housing

Date: Thursday, February 24, 2022

With affordable housing in short supply in the Twin Cities region, the Metropolitan Council has approved $8 million in grant awards to 10 affordable housing developments. The grants will fill project funding gaps and help create 557 new affordable homes and preserve another 113 affordable housing units.

The grants are part of the Met Council’s Livable Communities program, investing in communities to help them achieve their goals of economic prosperity, job creation, housing choices, and mobility.

Housing that’s safe, stable, and affordable contributes to family well-being and community vitality

Rendering of a 5-story building with a parking lot and trees.“Admittedly, the need for affordable housing in our region is far greater than these grants can address, but these projects make an important contribution toward creating homes for more people in the region,” said Lisa Barajas, director of Community Development at the Met Council.

“Eight million dollars is the most the Met Council has ever awarded from the Livable Communities housing fund in one year,” said Barajas. “The Council increased the amount available to enhance opportunities for affordability and advance racial equity in the region.

“These dollars will help leverage nearly $88 million in private investments and more than $112 million in other public investments to provide safe, affordable housing to low- and moderate-income residents in the metro area,” she said.

The Met Council grants are part of a collaboration with Minnesota Housing and other funding partners. Barajas says the Met Council awards focus heavily on housing that serves families earning at or below $31,450 a year for a family of four, where there is the greatest need.

Six awards made for multifamily rental housing  

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority Family Housing expansion, Minneapolis: $1.4 million toward an 84-unit project that will be built on 16 sites in the city. Small apartment buildings will consist of four or six units to serve homeless families and those receiving rent assistance.

Mary Hall, Saint Paul: $1,159,382 toward rehabilitating an historic building for permanent supportive housing for very low-income residents.

Rise on 7, St. Louis Park: $950,000 toward a mixed-use development that will include 120 affordable homes and commercial space for an early childhood center and outdoor play area. Some units will be reserved for homeless families.

Currie Commons, Minneapolis: $1,250,000 toward a new housing development that will include 187 units at various levels of affordability and supportive housing. The development will serve populations that include homeless families, people with disabilities, and families on rent assistance.

Rogers Main Street Senior Housing, Rogers: $1.5 million to help create 40 new affordable housing units for independent seniors 55 and older, and a new Senior Center.

Cornelia View Apartments, Edina: $712,714 to help create 118 new affordable housing units serving residents 55 and older. The facility will offer on-site case management services and be accessible to people with mobility and vision needs. Some units will be designated permanent supportive housing for homeless families.

Four awards made for single-family ownership opportunities

A light blue, 2-story, single-family home with a front porch.Minnetonka Boulevard Redevelopment, St. Louis Park: $257,904 toward construction of four twin homes as part of the Homes within Reach organization, a nonprofit, community-based organization that creates and preserves homes for working households in suburban Hennepin County.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Dakota County: $500,000 to support Habitat for Humanity’s acquisition and rehabilitation of 10 houses that were previously scattered site rental units in the county.

Homes Within Reach, Minnetonka: $180,000 to support the purchase, rehabilitation, and resale of eight homes in suburban Hennepin County. The West Hennepin Affordable Housing Land Trust will place the homes in this project in its community land trust to preserve affordability.

Own Street Home, Washington County: $90,000 to support the purchase, rehabilitation, and resale of three community land trust homes to preserve affordability.

The units proposed in this grant cycle are projected to be available to live in at varying time frames, but generally between 2023 and 2025.

Livable Communities promotes prosperity, economic development

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

75 cities and 1 township are participating in the Livable Communities program in 2022.

Posted In: Communities, Housing