2020 Consolidated RFP Updates and Reminders Including a New Scoring Training!
Our vision is that all Minnesotans live and thrive in a safe, stable home they can afford in a community of their choice. This vision and your partnership remain important to all of us at Minnesota Housing. Many organizations have switched to teleworking and all of us are juggling obligations at home and work. Everyone at Minnesota Housing is grateful for the work you’re doing in the community!
Because we have issued a number of emails in recent weeks, this eNews consolidates information related to the Consolidated RFP, including reminders, tips, guidance and links to important resources for you to use to complete your application including a new scoring training! Please continue to reach out to your team for questions and assistance on your Consolidated RFP application. 
Important Dates
As a reminder, Minnesota Housing has adjusted the 2020 Consolidated RFP timeline to provide applicants more time to finalize application materials with a variety of partners who are adjusting to a telework environment. Minnesota Housing will make every effort to manage the Consolidated RFP according to this schedule. If future adjustments are needed, we will communicate them in a timely manner. We appreciate your partnership and flexibility! 
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. Please see the Qualification Forms Instructions section below for additional guidance. 
  • Thursday, July 16 by noon: Multifamily application deadline.
    Note: the application fee is also due by this date.
    Please see the Application Fees section below for more information.
Minnesota Housing expects to recommend proposals for selections at our December Board of Directors Meeting. 
Qualification Forms Instructions
All qualification forms must be submitted via the Multifamily Secure Upload Tool by noon on Thursday, June 18. View instructions on how to use the secure upload tool. The recipient email address that you will use is mhfa.app@state.mn.us. 
Important Reminders
Each RFP funding round and/or year-round funding application requires the submission of a qualification form from ALL development team members if any of the following apply:
  • Minnesota Housing does not have the required qualification form on file.
  • The information on a previously submitted qualification form has changed significantly.
  • The qualification form has been on file with Minnesota Housing longer than 12 months.
You can verify if Minnesota Housing has your qualification forms by checking the Previously Submitted Qualification Forms document.
Note: The Qualification of Attorney Form has been discontinued.
If you have questions, please contact mhfa.app@state.mn.us.
Site Control Instructions
All site control documents must be submitted via the Multifamily Secure Upload Tool by noon on Thursday, June 18. View instructions on how to use the secure upload tool. The recipient email address that you will enter into the upload tool is mhfa.app@state.mn.us. 
Important Reminders
Site Control applicants must demonstrate acceptable evidence of title/site control, which includes the following: a purchase agreement, purchase option, or letter of intent from a governmental body for a sole developer. If there is no transfer of ownership, then the warranty deed or contract for deed is acceptable. 
The evidence of site control must:
  • Be current –  not expired. 
  • Be fully executed by both buyer and seller. 
  • Include the legal description of the property. 
  • Have the purchase price clearly indicated. 
  • Extend at least through the calendar year of the funding round, including automatic extensions. If the purchase agreement does not contain a specific date of expiration, but rather a series of phases with timeframes, the applicant must document how long the agreement extends, given the allowable timeframes.
Application Fees
Effective for the 2020 Consolidated RFP/2021 HTC Round 1, all applicants are required to submit an application fee of $800 per application. Fees must be received by the application deadline of noon on July 16. All fees are non-refundable. 
All fees and the Fee Remittance Form should be sent to:
Minnesota Housing
Attention: Tamara Wilson
400 Wabasha Street North
Suite 400
St. Paul, MN 55102
Please note: Minnesota Housing is practicing social distancing due to COVID-19 and will not be able to accept hand-delivered checks.
Intent to Apply Reminders
Applicants who plan to submit a full application must submit their Intent to Apply (ITA) via the Multifamily Customer Portal by noon on Thursday, May 14. The ITA process has been streamlined for the 2020 RFP. The ITA checklist no longer includes the Excel Intent to Apply form; applicants will now enter key project information into the Multifamily Customer Portal when creating projects. 
Scoring Training
You asked, we delivered! Minnesota Housing is making the scoring training used by our internal scoring team available to our partners. You can view the training in its entirety here. We have linked time stamps for each section in the description on our application resources webpage.
Be sure to check the training tutorials section on our application resources webpage over the next week as we release sections as individual videos for easy reference as you put your application together.
Useful resources to have on hand while viewing the training are the slides, the PDF version of the 2021 HTC Self-Scoring Worksheet - Competitive Funding Round, and the 2021 HTC and 2020 Deferred Scoring Guide
Scoring Tips
There are two primary scoring documents all applicants should review thoroughly, paying careful attention to the required documentation and terms:
Minnesota Housing will defer to the supporting documentation when awarding points (e.g. using dollar amounts, voucher amounts, etc. in the supporting documentation). Some frequently asked questions are clarified below.
Financial Readiness to Proceed/Leveraged Funds
All permanent capital contributions that meet the supporting documentation requirements should be counted in the Financial Readiness to Proceed/Leveraged Funds calculation. Minnesota Housing has created the Scoring Calculation Worksheet to help applicants with scoring. Applicants are encouraged to complete the worksheet and submit it with their application in the Financial Readiness to Proceed/Leveraged Funds checklist item in Multifamily Customer Portal.
Minority-owned/Women-owned Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE)
An Executive Director of a government entity would not qualify for MBE/WBE points. Board composition does not qualify. 
Other Contributions
This category only includes non-capital sources of funding. If applicants are using in-kind donations such as land, materials or labor, documentation that supports the market value must be submitted in order for points to be awarded. For example: documentation for land donations could include an appraisal, tax assessment information, or a broker opinion with comparable properties or other reasonable data.
Park Dedication Fees
Waivers of city fees, including park dedication fees, count towards the Other Contributions scoring calculation. 
People with Disabilities (PWD) and Age Restricted Projects
PWD points cannot be claimed for projects with age restrictions. Therefore, projects with age restrictions are ineligible for PWD points. 
Unit Dependencies
Some of the selection criteria in the Self-scoring Worksheet prohibit points being claimed for the same units in multiple categories. Minnesota Housing will validate this by using the information you provide in the rent and income grid of your submitted Multifamily Workbook. Refer to the information in the HTC and Deferred Scoring Guide for additional information. Examples of some of the categories that are impacted include:
  • High Priority Homeless and People with Disabilities 
  • Serves Lowest Income and Rental Assistance 
  • Preservation and Rental Assistance 
Pay close attention when structuring and scoring the project. The unit distinctions must be evident in the rent and income grid of the Multifamily Workbook in order for points to be awarded.
Walk Score
If applicants would like to request revisions of a location’s Walk Score, contact Walk Score directly at mhfa-request@walkscore.com. Walk Score staff will review the request and make necessary adjustments to scoring within 45 business days. If an address can’t be found in the Walk Score tool, use the closest intersection within ¼ mile of the proposed location. For more information, contact Kody Thurnau at kody.thurnau@state.mn.us or 651.215.5972. 
Application Instructions
The Multifamily Application Instructions: Consolidated RFP and HTC Rounds 1 and 2 provides instruction on how to get started with your application, how to set up a Multifamily Customer Portal account, eligibility requirements, guidance for dual applications, guidance for projects eligible for Housing Infrastructure Bonds and much more. You can also learn about Minnesota Housing’s selection framework, including the role of scoring, capacity reviews, deferred loan funding priorities, and how they impact decision making.        
In Case You Missed It: COVID-19 Guidance and Updates
In a previous eNews, Minnesota Housing outlined modifications to certain requirements and offered guidance related to important application components. This information can be found again below. 
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. 
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.
Request Technical Assistance
Minnesota Housing continues to provide technical assistance. To schedule technical assistance, please contact TechnicalAssistanceRequest.MHFA@state.mn.us and you will be connected with a staff person.
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 is Thursday, July 9, 2020.
Important Documents and Trainings
Be sure to check out the following helpful documents and trainings as you put your application together.
LMIR Interest Rates
For information, please contact Susan Thompson
Multifamily Intended Methods Worksheet Update
We experienced technical issues with the Multifamily Intended Methods Worksheet and a revised version has been posted on our Building Standards webpage. If you are having issues with an older version, please contact Mike Thomas.
Multifamily Customer Portal Updates
The Multifamily Customer Portal has a new home page with important information about completing your application. This eNews will be linked on the Portal home page for easy reference if you need it in the future. 
Tips for Selecting Project Characteristics in the Portal
In late March, we rolled out a simpler way to set up your checklists. Rather than clicking into each checklist to identify your project characteristics, you can set it up or make updates in one spot on the new ‘Characteristics’ tab. Here are some tips for selecting your project characteristics.
  • Dual Applications. If submitting a dual application, select characteristics that reflect both your primary and dual application. For example, if submitting a 9% HTC only request as your primary application and a Deferred with 4% HTC request as your dual application, select both options under the 'Proposal Type' header. Also select ‘Dual Application’.

  • Characteristic group headers. We’ve added headers to groups of characteristics to help organize the list of available project characteristics. Be sure to review the available characteristics in each group and add them as applicable. Don’t forget to select your construction type and region.
  • Edit Characteristics. You can add or remove characteristics by navigating to the ‘Characteristics’ tab on the project page. Changing the characteristics adds or removes applicable checklist items. Any changes you’ve made already will be saved. Follow the on-screen guidance or check out this guide for instructions.
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