Minnesota Housing Announces Funding Availability
Minnesota Housing and its partners are excited to announce the launch of the 2020 Consolidated Request for Proposals (RFP). Our vision is that all Minnesotans live and thrive in a safe, stable home they can afford in a community of their choice. This annual Consolidated RFP process advances that vision by making funding available to help construct and preserve homes that are affordable in communities throughout Minnesota.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to every community in the state. Most of the Minnesota Housing staff team has converted to teleworking. Minnesota Housing remains operational across all divisions and continues to process construction draws, complete closings, and provide technical assistance. Please continue to reach out to us with proposals and questions.
Minnesota continues to need homes that are deeply affordable. To help keep housing production moving forward, the Consolidated RFP is launching as scheduled on April 2. However, we recognize that many of our community partners are focused on addressing immediate needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, we have extended the application deadline to July 16, 2020. Selection announcements are anticipated to be made at the December 2020 Minnesota Housing Board meeting. New guidance for multifamily application materials and technical assistance contact information is also provided in this eNews.  
Thank you to all of our funding partners involved in this Consolidated RFP, including the Metropolitan Council for their historic level of investment through the Local Housing Initiative Account (LHIA) and Greater Minnesota Housing Fund.
Please watch for additional information and announcements in upcoming eNews.
Important Dates
As a result of COVID-19, Minnesota Housing has adjusted the 2020 Consolidated RFP timeline. We appreciate your understanding as we work to advance the Consolidated RFP with a timeline that balances the need to continue developing and preserving future housing that is affordable with pressing public health issues facing our communities. While Minnesota Housing will make every effort to manage the Consolidated RFP according to this schedule, if future adjustments are needed, we commit to communicating with you in a timely manner. We appreciate your partnership with us.
Single Family Application Submission Deadline
  • Thursday, July 16 by noon: Single Family Application deadline
Multifamily Application Submission Deadlines
  • Thursday, May 14 by noonIntent to Apply deadline. Required for all Multifamily applications submitted in the consolidated RFP. Only the basic project information and HIB form are due at this date.
  • Thursday, June 18 by noon: Qualification Forms and Site Control deadline. All qualification forms and site control documents must be submitted via the Multifamily Secure Upload Tool
  • Thursday, July 16 by noon: Multifamily application deadline.
    Note: the application fee is also due by this date.
Minnesota Housing expects to recommend proposals for selections at our December Board of Directors Meeting.
Please share questions, concerns, or potential issues you encounter by reaching out to Song.Lee.mhfa@state.mn.us in the Single Family division and Katie.Moore@state.mn.us in the Multifamily division. We appreciate staying connected with you!  
Review Available Resources
Single Family Resources
Single Family Homeownership Resources:
  • Grant funds
  • Deferred loan funds
  • Interim construction loans
The Single Family Request for Proposals will include funding for the Workforce and Affordable Homeownership Development program.
Single Family - Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIB) Proceeds:
  • Can only be used for community land trust projects
Single Family funds may be used for the following activities:
  • Acquisition, rehabilitation, resale (grants or interim construction loans)
  • Affordability gap/down-payment and closing cost assistance (grants or deferred loans)
  • New construction (grants or interim construction loans)
  • Owner-occupied rehabilitation (grants or deferred loans)
  • Tribal Indian Housing Program (grants)      
Multifamily Resources
Multifamily Rental Projects:
  • $11.7 million in 2021 Housing Tax Credits (HTC) Round 1
  • Deferred loans on a competitive basis
  • Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIBs); subject to 2020 legislative session approval
  • Amortizing first mortgages (applicants may apply through the Consolidated RFP or may contact us separately to inquire about mortgages outside of the Consolidated RFP)
Application Tools
The application instructions below provide essential information and important details for submitting an application and the required supporting documentation for all application types. 
Request Technical Assistance
We want to help you submit strong proposals. Check out the technical assistance opportunities below.
Single Family Applicants
Multifamily Applicants
  • Please contact TechnicalAssistanceRequest.MHFA@state.mn.us as you are preparing your application and you will be connected with a staff person who can help.
  • Questions specific to application rents and maintenance and operating (M&O) numbers can be also be directed to TechnicalAssistanceRequest.MHFA@state.mn.us. Preliminary M&O reviews and ballpark estimates can be provided to the applicant upon request. The last day Minnesota Housing staff will take any new preliminary M&O review requests will be Thursday, July 9, 2020.
  • View pre-recorded training tutorials (scroll down to the training tutorials section).
Create a Portal Account (for Multifamily Applications only)
The Multifamily Customer Portal facilitates the application and post-selection process for developers seeking funding from Minnesota Housing for rental housing that is affordable.
New to Applying?
The Portal has a new look and new features! Learn more here.
Gather Application Materials
Project Eligibility, Feasibility, and Organizational Capacity
Minnesota Housing will select a variety of project types throughout Minnesota communities, and we prioritize projects by community need, feasibility, organizational capacity, reasonableness of deferred loan request and strategic priorities.
We encourage proposals for a variety of project types including:
  • Permanent supportive housing for homeless populations 
  • Preservation projects (both rental and homeownership)
  • Affordable homes for purchase
  • Workforce housing
  • Senior housing
Please review and analyze the Community Profiles data to help identify areas that fit these criteria. 
New for Multifamily Applicants in 2020
Intent to Apply (ITA)
The ITA process has been streamlined for the 2020 RFP. Key streamlining efforts include:
1. The ITA checklist no longer includes the required ITA Form (Excel spreadsheet). Applicants will now enter ITA information into the Multifamily Customer Portal when creating projects.
2. Projects that are eligible for Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIB) must complete the HIB Intent to Apply Form. Please note that HIB availability will depend on the results of the 2020 legislative session. The HIB form collects information on the number of units that will meet a specific eligible use, including:
  • Housing for seniors age 55 and older
  • Permanent supportive housing for homeless households including people with behavioral health needs, and
  • Preservation of federally subsidized units

    For more information on HIB requirements, eligible populations, and structuring of eligible projects, please visit the HIB webpage and view the HIB Guide.
3. Scattered site projects must complete a Scattered Site Information form that collects address, latitude and longitude information for all buildings.
Funding Recommendations
After applications are received and reviewed, all funding recommendations must be approved by the Minnesota Housing board at a date to be posted on Minnesota Housing’s website. Funding partner proposal recommendations will be made at their respective board meetings.
COVID-19 Guidance and Updates (for Multifamily Applications only)
Minnesota Housing recognizes that COVID-19 creates certain application challenges. In addition to the modified deadline schedule for three application pieces including the ITA deadline, the Qualification Forms and Site Control deadline, and the Application deadline, Minnesota Housing has modified requirements and offers guidance related to important application components outlined below. Please contact Katie.Moore@state.mn.us to discuss any other issues or concerns as you prepare your Consolidated RFP proposal. We appreciate your partnership and communication with us as you develop application proposals in the current environment.
Needs Assessments: Physical Needs Assessment (PNA), Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) and critical needs Guidance
Applicants who haven’t completed the inspections required for needs assessment(s) are encouraged to find alternative ways to collect information about capital needs and deficiencies rather than mobilizing assessors to sites. This may involve looking at past maintenance records, interviewing property managers and property maintenance staff, conducting resident surveys, etc. Please indicate on the PNA/CNA/20 year capital expenditure template how information was gathered. Unverified needs assessments may require follow-up inspections and/or further documentation after selection and during the due diligence phase. If you have any concerns or question(s) about assessment methods, please contact the Minnesota Housing staff architect assigned to your region
Continuums of Care (COCs), Counties and Service Providers
At this time, CoCs, counties and service providers are focused on the COVID-19 emergency response for the people they serve. It is critical to notify them as soon as possible about the forms you need completed and to schedule time on meeting agendas. They will need more time to accommodate requests; your early contact and patience will be much appreciated.
Market Studies 
Market study analysts may encounter hindrances to completing work, particularly related to field work and accessing market information. Disruption to regular office hours for important contacts such as property managers, HRAs, and planning officials, and the onset of teleworking may create delays in analysts’ ability to obtain certain market information. If circumstances restrict  analysts’ ability to complete a market study, Minnesota Housing suggests  the following alternatives for information-gathering.
Field Work:
  • Consult third parties, such as architects or engineers 
  • Use internet services such as Google Earth, Google Street View, Bing, or county assessor websites
  • For existing properties, request a virtual tour or photographs of the site from the property manager
  • For new construction, the developer may also be a resource for photographs
Surveying Current Rent Data:
  • Use alternative data sources for rents
  • Access published information on properties’ or management companies’ websites
  • Consider aged data from an interview from the recent past (to be disclosed in the report if used)
If any of these alternatives or others are used to produce the market study, the analyst must disclose and detail their methods.
Questions?
Single Family Applicants
Multifamily Applicants
Updated Tenant Selection Plan Guidance
The Minnesota Housing Tenant Selection Plan (TSP) guidance has been updated to provide clarity and to reflect several changes including, but not limited to: requiring an appeals process that considers mitigating circumstances and a written Reasonable Accommodations policy for all projects that receive Minnesota Housing funding. Make sure to review this guidance as you draft TSPs for upcoming projects or make changes to existing TSPs.
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