Minnesota Housing announces 2022 Project Selections

Published 6:30 pm Friday, December 16, 2022

Austin project among this year’s selections

On Thursday the Minnesota Housing board of directors approved funding selections of $165.5 million to create and preserve 2,156 homes, apartments and manufactured home community lots.

“It’s a great day to announce that we’re creating thousands of new homes across the state that are permanently affordable,” said Gov. Tim Walz in a press release. “But we also know that right now, thousands of Minnesota children and families are still living in precarious situations. We have more work to do, and I’m looking with optimism to the 2023 session and the opportunity to bring more resources to the table.”

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Among those projects selected was the 1st & 3rd Apartments project by Three Rivers Community Action currently in development on parcels of land directly east of the Post Office in Austin.

The planned 40-unit apartment building will consist of a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom units in three stories that will also utilize underground parking. There would also be four units set aside for households that have experienced homelessness and five units will be set aside for those with disabilities.

Rent is projected from $775 for one-bedroom apartments to $1,250 for four-bedroom units. Construction could potentially start in the fall of 2023 and leasing could begin in the fall of 2024, depending on funding acquisition.

Thursday’s announcement noted that this year, 43% of rental units selected will be affordable to Minnesotans who make the least (below 30% of the area median income).

Many of the housing developments selected include four and even five bedrooms to accommodate large families, recognizing the needs of new immigrant households, multi-generational families and families with many children. Market-rate developments rarely include more than two bedrooms out of cost considerations, making large affordable apartments and single-family homes particularly scarce.

“Today’s selections are an example of what government can do,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan in the Thursday release. “The Governor and I care deeply about the opportunities and life trajectories for children in families that do not have stable housing. The need is real. But because we are investing in housing today, over time, thousands of children will be able to succeed in school and enjoy all the benefits stability brings.”

Selections for single-family homes are up in 2022 over past years because of a 2021 legislative change that set aside more housing infrastructure bonds for single-family home construction, with 412 single-family homes to be built or preserved with $20 million in funding selections. The Legislature recently broadened the use of HIB to include rehabilitation and new construction of single-family homes beyond the previous eligible use for community land trusts.

Minnesota Housing put more funding toward manufactured home community investments than ever this year, with $9.5 million allocated in selections. These funds can be used for infrastructure projects such as water and sewer upgrades, storm shelter construction or repairs, electrical work, and road and sidewalk improvements.

“Our partners across the state are the ones building the state’s most affordable homes, and I’m so glad we can connect them with the capital they need,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho. “I’m especially excited to see developers who are new to us among those selected for funding, particularly developers of color.”

Funding is also being dispersed to Vista Village in Brownsdale for water hydrants, electrical upgrades and tree removal.

For more information about the 2022 Selections, such as complete project spreadsheets, photos, and a video overview of the announcement, visit Minnesota Housing at www.mnhousing.gov.