Council offers grant to assist manufactured housing to hook up to regional wastewater system

Date: Friday, April 7, 2017

The Metropolitan Council is offering a single grant of up to $250,000 as part of a pilot program to assist a manufactured home park in the region to connect to the regional wastewater collection and treatment system.

Manufactured housing is a valuable source of housing, particularly for very low- and extremely low-income households.  Manufactured home parks often have access to high quality schools, job and activity centers, the transit and transportation system, and regional trails. But many parks are threatened by redevelopment, improvement to adjacent highways, and their own aging infrastructure, such as septic systems.

The Council undertook a study in 2016 exploring the threats to manufactured home parks and what policy levers the Council might have to help preserve them. It also introduced this pilot program, which includes three eligible manufactured home parks, based on their ability to connect to the regional wastewater system soon.  Learn more about the 2016 Council report, “Manufactured Home Park Preservation Project.”

Grants must be matched 50/50

The grant funds must be matched one-to-one and used to defray the cost of the regional Sewer Availability Charge (SAC).

The Council charges SAC to local governments when a residential, commercial, industrial or institutional property first connects to the regional wastewater system. Local governments pass on the fee to property owners, often adding a local fee for the new connection. The current regional SAC for a residential housing unit is $2,485. 

In return for the grant, the Council will secure from the property owner some combination of:

  • A guarantee to continue to operate as a manufactured home park for a negotiated period.

  • No unreasonable lot rent increases borne by tenants due to the SAC charges and related costs to connect.

  • Investment in human-services-oriented programming or facilities that are for shared use of residents (for example, a community center or services such as homework help).

The pilot grant program will help the Council to assess the overall impact of costs of connecting to the regional wastewater treatment system; improve local water quality and the environment; and potentially reduce housing insecurity and prevent displacement of low-income families.

Grant advances equity in the region

Thrive MSP 2040 is the long-range plan for the Twin Cities region. It calls for the Council to use equity as a lens to evaluate its operations, planning and investments, and explore how Council resources and operations can mitigate disparities by race, ethnicity, disability status, economic opportunity, housing choice and more.

The primary purpose of the grant is to advance equity for residents, particularly households with low-incomes, households of color, and households with a disabled family member and persons who are elderly.
See the Notice of Funding Availability (pdf).

Posted In: Housing, Wastewater & Water

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