Minnesota Housing Announces Nearly $50 Million for Affordable Housing Developments

Funding Preserves and Creates 3,335 Affordable Housing Units

SAINT PAUL, MN (01/29/2010)(readMedia)-- Minnesota Housing has awarded nearly $50 million to create or preserve 3,335 affordable housing units across the state. The Minnesota Housing Board of Directors approved the funding for 56 projects through deferred and below-market loans, Housing Tax Credits, operating subsidies and rental assistance.

"These awards represent critical investments that invigorate Minnesota's affordable housing market and the economy," said Dan Bartholomay, Commissioner of Minnesota Housing. "Not only will these projects provide stable housing for people across the state, they will contribute to communities by revitalizing areas impacted by foreclosure and position affordable housing near transit corridors with access to jobs."

The awards align with the agency's priorities outlined in its 2010-2011 affordable housing plan, which focuses on preserving existing and creating new affordable housing, addressing foreclosure, ending long-term homelessness and increasing emerging market home ownership.

The agency has combined efforts with several partners to create a one-stop-shop funding partnership that allows affordable housing providers to seek funding from several organizations at once. More than $7 million of the total $49,776,694 was contributed by the following partners: Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Metropolitan Council, Department of Human Services, Department of Employment and Economic Development and Minnesota Green Communities (subject to approval by each organization).

For detailed breakdown and listing of funding awards, please visit www.mnhousing.gov.

Highlights of Minnesota Housing funding awards:

Preserving existing affordable housing:

Sherman Associates -- Riverside Plaza, Minneapolis

$5.1 million

One of the agency's largest awards provides partial funding to acquire, preserve and rehabilitate Riverside Plaza, a 1,300 unit complex in the Minneapolis Cedar Riverside neighborhood built in 1973. The development team is working to secure other local, state and federal resources to complete the $90 million renovation of this mixed-income workforce complex that is facing the need for crucial capital improvements.

Grand Rapids HRA -- Crystal Lake Townhomes, Grand Rapids

$3.9 million

The current owner had decided to either sell the property or remove the project from the Section 8 Program and begin charging market-rate rents. Losing 48 units of affordable housing units in the rural community of Grand Rapids could have been devastating for the community. This funding will allow the Grand Rapids HRA to preserve, a 48 unit family development with a project-based Section 8 contract. In effort to preserve these units, the HRA will acquire the development, perform needed rehabilitation, sign a 20-year contract and agree to apply for renewal of the assistance for the term of the loans.

Addressing Foreclosure:

Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation -- Northside Foreclosure Initiative, Minneapolis


Funding to renovate homes in seven north Minneapolis neighborhoods. The homes were purchased by Greater Minnesota Housing Corporation as a result of the TJ Waconia lawsuit. Value gap funds will be used for homes to be sold to households earning up to 115% of area median income in an effort to enhance neighborhood stabilization. From 2003-2006, TJ Waconia purchased and flipped 140 north Minneapolis homes. TJ Waconia's use of fraudulent appraisals to falsely inflate property values in north Minneapolis caused owner-occupied homes to be converted to rental units.

Project for Pride in Living (PPL) -- Foreclosure Redirection, Minneapolis


Funding for the acquisition and rehab of 17 - 21 foreclosed multifamily buildings, many of which are currently vacant, abandoned and boarded. The acquisitions will focus on Hawthorne, Near North, Jordan, Midtown Philips, West Philips, and Central Neighborhoods, which are near existing PPL properties.

Ending Long-Term Homelessness:

South Central Human Relations Center -- Youngdahl Living, Owatonna


Funding will provide permanent supportive housing for 16 individuals who have experienced a number of barriers including long term homelessness, at significant risk of long-term homelessness, serious mental illness, and chemical dependency.

Advocates Against Domestic Abuse -- Aitkin Supportive Housing, Aitkin


Funding will allow the adaptive reuse of an existing building into 16 units of permanent supportive housing. All components are located within a three block radius in downtown Aitkin. All units are planned as permanent supportive housing units with five deemed for long-term homeless households.

South Metro Human Services, Anoka County


This proposal is for sponsor-based scattered site rental assistance for 75 Long Term Homeless single adults in Anoka County. All participants will have a serious mental illness, many will be chemically dependent, some with traumatic brain injury. Services will be provided by South Metro Human Services, as program sponsor.

Transit oriented development:

Duffy Development -- The Depot at Elk River Station, Elk River

$2.8 million

Funding was approved for new construction affordable housing located one block from the new Northstar Commuter Rail line. Funding for this working families development with mix of one, two and three bedroom units is awarded by Minnesota Housing, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and Minnesota Green Communities.

City of Hopkins – Land Acquisition for Affordable New Development, Hopkins


Funding awarded for land acquisition of a site in downtown Hopkins near a proposed downtown station of the Southwest Transitway. The Southwest Transitway is a proposed Light Rail Transit line that would connect downtown Minneapolis to St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. This is the only major parcel currently available along the Southwest Transitway Corridor. It will be the first Transit-Oriented Development in the region and will hopefully stimulate similar development along the corridor.

Volunteers of America -- Nicollet Towers, Minneapolis


Funding to acquire Nicollet Towers is a 306 unit development located in downtown Minneapolis, in close proximity to employment, transportation, and services. The property will be acquired by a new partnership controlled by Volunteers of America that will substantially rehabilitate the exterior, the living units and common areas and agree to preserve the development as Section 8 housing for up to 40 years.

For detailed breakdown and listing of the 56 funding awards, please visit www.mnhousing.gov.

Minnesota Housing is a state agency committed to finance and advance affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate income Minnesotans to enhance quality of life and foster strong communities. The agency invests more than $1.4 billion in affordable housing each biennium. If ranked among commercial banks, it would be the sixth largest bank in Minnesota, with total agency-wide assets of $3.5 billion as of June 30, 2009.