$39 million is available in grant funding to assist small to midsize cities in Greater Minnesota seeking to address rental workforce housing needs.
The Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency announced the application period is open for the Workforce Housing Development Program (WHDP).
With increased one-time funding passed during the 2023 legislative session, the program has a total of $39 million in available funding for grants or deferred loans to cities in Greater Minnesota that are working with developers to build market-rate residential properties to address the housing needs of a growing workforce.
Cities are the only eligible applicants for the program (applications submitted by developers will not be reviewed). Cities are required to secure matching funds that match at least $1 for every $2 in funding offered through the program. WHDP funds are available as unsecured, zero-interest, three-year deferred forgivable loans.
To be eligible to apply, cities must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be a home rule charter or statutory city with a population exceeding 500, located outside of a metropolitan county. Preference will be given to projects in areas with fewer than 30,000 people.
- Be a community that has a combined population of 1,500 residents located within 15 miles of a home rule charter or statutory city located outside a metropolitan county.
- Be in an area located outside of a metropolitan county that serves a federally recognized Indian tribe in Minnesota, or their associated Tribally Designated Housing Entity as defined by United States Code, title 25, section 4103(22), as approved in writing by Minnesota Housing.
- Be in an area served by a joint county-city economic development authority.
Eligible housing types are market-rate residential rental properties that serve employees of businesses located in an eligible project area. A portion of the units can have rent restrictions or income restrictions.
Eligible activities include the following or a combination of the following:
- New construction.
- Acquisition and rehabilitation of a property that creates new housing units. This program would only fund those new units of housing.
- Adaptive reuse of an existing property that is not currently used for housing.
How to apply
To apply, interested cities should review the WHDP Application Checklist (pdf) and all other required materials using the Secure Upload Tool, which can be found on Minnesota Housing’s Partner Login webpage.
Applications are due on April 30.
- Access the Minnesota Housing Partner Login webpage.
- Learn more and access application materials on Minnesota Housing’s WHDP webpage.
Learn more at online information session
Minnesota Housing is hosting an online WHDP Information Session on Feb. 13. The information session will include an overview of program updates and statutory changes, eligibility requirements, timelines, and other important application information. There will also be time for questions.