$4.5 million in grants support affordable housing development
The Metropolitan Council has approved nearly $4.5 million in Livable Communities grants to support affordable housing near existing and planned transit service.
The grants are expected to support the creation of more than 650 housing units affordable to low- and very low-income residents and provide connections to jobs and services.
“The Livable Communities program goes a long way toward supporting and promoting economic growth and prosperity in the region,” said Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. “A critical component to achieving prosperity is the availability of affordable housing. These grants all support the creation of affordable housing that’s close to transit and other types of transportation. Each project focuses on a different group of people in need of affordable housing. The region faces a critical shortage of housing and housing that residents can afford. These grants make important strides, but our region’s success at achieving livability, affordability and economic prosperity rely heavily on making sure we have more homes for more people and more options for getting to school and work.”
Tchourumoff says the four grant awards are expected to create 674 affordable homes, more than 900 permanent and temporary construction jobs, increase the net tax capacity by $740,000 and leverage $187 million in other public and private investment.
Grants include $2 million for “Legends of Minnetonka,” to support redevelopment of an existing office building into nearly 500 affordable housing units across from the future Opus LRT station along the Green Line Extension. Housing choices will be available for families, individuals, and seniors. There is $1.2 million for Lake Street Apartments in Minneapolis to support construction of workforce housing, including housing for homeless veterans, in the Lyn-Lake area near frequent bus service and the Midtown Greenway. The project will include 111 affordable housing units, commercial/retail space, indoor bike storage, a green roof, and solar panels. The Peris in Minneapolis will receive $350,000 to support new affordable housing for young people who are transitioning out of the foster care system. The development includes 41 housing units for low- and very low-income residents. Another $949,250 is for Northwest University & Dale in St. Paul to support mixed-use redevelopment in the Dale Street LRT Station area to create a “Main Street” that serves the daily needs of residents and small businesses. Plans call for 32,000 square feet of office and commercial space and 40 affordable housing units near a plaza and green space.
These grants fall under the category of Livable Communities funds for transit-oriented development. They are grants that provide incentive for creating connections between housing, jobs and transit; promote efficient use of land and increased transit ridership; as well as access to services that meet daily needs.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis and reviewed and recommended by the Livable Communities Advisory Committee. Applicants are local units of government that commit to affordable housing goals and participate in the Livable Communities program. Proposed projects must meet criteria that the Council has vetted and approved.
Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the council has approved grants totaling nearly $375 million to assist projects that have created or retained more than 52,000 jobs, cleaned up 2,300 acres of polluted property for redevelopment, created or preserved nearly 22,000 affordable housing units, and leveraged billions in additional public and private funds.