The Metropolitan Council kicked off 2024 with an award of $5.3 million in grants that advance communities’ progress toward meeting affordable housing needs for lower-income households. The Met Council, on Jan. 10, approved Livable Communities grants to support affordable rental and ownership housing opportunities. The proposed projects include both new construction and preservation of existing homes and structures.
Communities awarded funding include Brooklyn Center, Carver, Edina, Golden Valley, Maplewood, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, and Saint Paul.
“Throughout our region, communities want to increase the housing choices that are available to their residents,” said Lisa Barajas, the Council’s Community Development Executive Director.
“These grant programs are very competitive. While these awards don’t, by any means, address the entire regional need, they do make a dent and will provide both rental and ownership housing options that contribute to stability for so many families that are trying to make ends meet.”
Grants help increase homeownership for BIPOC communities
Barajas says the homeownership grants help to increase the rate of homeownership for Black, Indigenous, and people of color across the region, and will also create affordable ownership opportunities in parts of the region where they are most scarce.
The grants for multifamily rental housing will leverage many millions in private investments and other public investments to provide safe and affordable homes. They are part of a pool of funding with other partners to support a broader set of housing preservation and development projects regionwide.
“Housing that’s safe and affordable is foundational to the well-being of our friends and neighbors, our families, our communities, and to the livability and prosperity of our region,” said Barajas.
The grants for homeownership will result in 22 affordable homes. The grants for multifamily rental housing will produce 298 new units of affordable housing.
Grants for home ownership opportunities total $2.8 million
Affordable Ownership Preservation, City of Edina: $750,000 to support the city’s partnership with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and Homes Within Reach to acquire, rehabilitate, and sell homes through a community land trust. The city’s initiative is designed to create housing affordability while preserving modest-priced homes in the city. Dozens of homeowners have expressed interest in selling their homes to the land trust to provide future affordable home ownership opportunities.
Affordable Twin Home Project, City of Minnetonka: $288,634 toward construction of affordable twin homes on property the city plans to sell to a builder experienced in building affordable homes.
Home Ownership Program for Equity (HOPE) Round 2, City of Golden Valley HRA: $948,000 toward the city’s program to make public land available for affordable and equitable homeownership development opportunities. The city will help make the land more affordable to developers as an incentive to produce affordable homes.
Project for Pride in Living (PPL) Greenbelt Homes, City of Minneapolis: $568,400 as gap funding toward five new single-family homes as part of the larger Hawthorne Ecovillage Redevelopment in North Minneapolis.
Serenity Townhouses, St. Paul Port Authority: $270,000 toward construction costs of townhomes included in the 17-unit development. Amani Construction is partnering with Rondo Community Land Trust to ensure long-term affordability and sustainable homeownership within the community.
Grants for multifamily rental opportunities total $2.5 million
5780 Lincoln, City of Edina: $450,000 toward a new construction development with 89 units for both family and supportive housing, helping to meet a critical need in the community for larger units.
Carver Oaks Senior Residence, Carver County CDA: $400,000 toward a 43-unit apartment building next to Carver Place, an affordable 60-unit workforce family development. The residence is the final phase in a planned development that includes single-family homes, multifamily development, and a transit station.
Gladstone Crossing, City of Maplewood: $500,000 toward construction of this new, 40-unit workforce and supportive housing development. The primary tenants will be youth-led households and homeless youth families with children. The Met Council HRA provided project-based Section 8 funding, making these units deeply affordable to households.
PPL BC Family Housing Phase I, City of Brooklyn Center: $400,000 toward a 60-unit new construction, mixed-income development, including some larger units and supportive housing. The development is part of the city’s plan to redevelop the now-vacant Brooklyn Mall. The plan has identified the need for affordable housing as part of the overall redevelopment of the area. The development will include onsite management, indoor and outdoor play areas for children, community garden space, and a large community room for resident gatherings and services.
St. Olaf - Exodus Building, City of Minneapolis: $750,000 toward a 66-unit permanent supportive housing development comprised of all studio units. The development includes reuse of a church-owned building and a new addition located in the city’s downtown and is made possible by a below-market-rate 99-year land lease provided by multiple partners. To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro area cities must participate in the Livable Communities program. 75 cities and 1 township participated in the Livable Communities program in 2023.