Apply Now for Workforce Housing Development Grants

A total of $4 million is available in grant funding to assist small to mid-size cities in Greater Minnesota seeking to address rental workforce housing needs.
(Published Nov 12, 2019)

Minnesota Housing announced last week that applications are open for Workforce Housing Development Program grants. The program provides up to $4 million in 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.

Securing state resources to help cities spur the development of workforce housing where needed has been a League priority at the Capitol for the past several years. Inclusion of base funding for this grant program in the 2019 omnibus agriculture, rural development, and housing finance law was good news for cities across the state.

Cities are the only eligible applicants for the program and are required to secure funds to match at least $1 for every $2 in funding offered through the program. Preference will be given to applicants that make a commitment to an even higher matching amount.

Applications are due by 12 p.m. on Jan. 10. Final recommendations will be made to the Minnesota Housing Board in late March.

Info session

Minnesota Housing will host a webinar on Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. for interested cities to learn more about the program and how to apply.

—Register for the webinar

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the grant, a city must:

  • Be a small to medium-sized city in Greater Minnesota (population must exceed 500, and areas with fewer than 30,000 people will be given preference).
  • Be working with a developer.
  • Have a viable proposal for the development of a market-rate residential rental property, which can include mixed income.

Other minimum application requirements include the following:

  • Project must expand workforce housing in the community.
  • Community must have a vacancy rate at or below 5%.
  • A letter of support must be provided from a local business that employs a minimum of 20 full-time employees in aggregate.
  • Applicant must provide a local government resolution that states matching funds from the local government, a nonprofit organization, or a business have been committed and, at a minimum, match $1 for every $2 requested. (The developer or an entity affiliated with the developer cannot be the source of matching funds.)
  • Funds requested cannot exceed 25 percent of the rental housing development project costs.
  • Applicant must demonstrate that construction will begin within 12 months of grant contract or deferred loan contract execution.

—Learn more on Minnesota Housing’s Workforce Housing Development Program web page

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