The revised Workforce Housing Grant Program and new tax increment financing authority are now available for cities.
(Published Sep 25, 2017)
The League advocated for continued funding of the Workforce Housing Grant Program, a new tax increment financing (TIF) authority for workforce housing, and a tax credit program for workforce housing during the 2017 legislative session. Continued funding for the grant program, with some changes, and the TIF authority were secured.
Establishing tools for cities to use to develop workforce housing has been a League legislative priority for the past several years. These efforts focused on communities that had dramatic market-rate housing shortages despite a growing job market, and employers who want to expand. In previous sessions, a successful pilot program led to the statewide grant program now established through the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The League would like to thank all the cities who helped advocate on these tools during the session, including city staff from Crookston and Melrose.
Changes and continued funding for the Workforce Housing Development Program were included in the omnibus jobs bill (Chapter 94) during the 2017 legislative session. Two million dollars each year in ongoing funding was secured for the direct development of market-rate residential rental properties to increase the availability of rental housing in Greater Minnesota. This program was previously administered by DEED and is now administered by MHFA.
The qualifications (listed in subdivision 4 of Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.39) for the MHFA program are very similar to those from the original DEED program. One change is that there is now a preference among applications to cities with populations under 30,000. The program previously gave preference to cities with populations under 18,000.
Applications are due Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. MHFA expects to make recommendations to their Board in March 2018. Sign up for MHFA’s eNews to receive timely updates. For more information, contact Katie Moore at (651) 296-6354.
New economic development TIF for workforce housing
Workforce housing TIF authority was in the special session tax bill of 2017 (Minnesota Statutes, section 469.174- 469.176). In addition to existing economic development TIF requirements, cities using the workforce housing TIF tool shall make the following findings and set forth in writing the reasons and supporting facts for each determination:
Two changes were passed into law that differed from the League’s original proposal:
2017 Law Summaries
Read about these tools and other housing law changes, including the local housing trust fund, on page 13 of the 2017 Law Summaries (pdf).
Share your experience
If your city is considering applying for the grant program or using the TIF program, please share your city story with League staff member Heather Corcoran at email@example.com. City experiences help inform future legislative efforts around these programs.
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