Important 2017 RFP Dates
  • Monday, April 17: Intent to Apply and application materials published on our website
  • Monday, May 1: Section 811 Pre-Applications due 
  • Tuesday, May 16: Preservation Pre-Applications due
  • Thursday, June 1: Intent to Apply due for all Multifamily applications
  • Thursday, June 15: Complete Multifamily applications due
Universal Design Standards
Interested in adding Universal Design to your next Housing Tax Credit project? The Housing Tax Credit program offers three scoring criteria points for Universal Design for projects that meet the following requirements:
  • New construction or adaptive re-use projects that include all Minimum Essential Universal Design Features and at least eight Optional Features
  • Rehabilitation projects that include all Minimum Essential Universal Design Features and at least four Optional Features
  • 100% of the dwelling units in an elevator equipped building or 10% of the dwelling units in non-elevator equipped building must comply
If you plan to claim these points, complete and submit the Universal Design portion of the Self-Scoring Worksheet with your application.
If awarded funding, the architect must complete a Universal Design Worksheet to confirm compliance before loan commitment/loan closing.
    2017 Building Standards Updates
    The following guides and standards have been updated for the 2017 Consolidated RFP and are effective for projects applying for funding as of April 2017. These documents are available on the Minnesota Housing Building Standards webpage and summaries of changes are listed below.
    2017 version of the MN Overlay to the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities 
    • Criteria 3.3 Low-Impact Development: A conflict regarding curb and gutter applicable to Rural/Tribal/Small Towns is omitted. 
    • Criteria 5.1b Building Performance Standards - NC 4 stories or more: 
      • We now allow an Energy Design Assist (or similar program) energy model to show compliance with this criteria. 
      • Multifamily buildings 4 or 5 stories where dwelling units occupy 80% or more of the building may use ENERGY STAR for Homes in lieu of ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise. Refer to the ENERGY STAR update section for more information.
    • Criteria 5.1c Building Performance Standards - Rehab three stories or less: The Project Specific Strategy was omitted.
    • Criteria 7.1 Ventilation: Through the new overlay, we will allow existing, operable, functioning fans to remain. Also, if a building does not have an existing common area ventilation system, we do not require one to be added.
     Rental Housing Design/Construction Standards (RHD/CS) 
    • Definitions:
      • Dwelling Unit, Efficiency Unit (aka SRO), and Sleeping Unit (aka Congregate/Dormitory) definitions are redefined to align with state building code while reconciling with HUD.
      • A “Story” or “Stories” are redefined as consistent language for level or floor.
    • Chapter 2:
      • The required number of bathrooms per dwelling unit is clarified via a new table.
      • The Play Area/Play Equipment language is simplified.
      • The windowless bedrooms exemptions added last year are omitted to align with HUD's Housing Quality Standards. Even though the building code does allow windowless bedrooms, they once again are not allowed by Minnesota Housing.
    • Chapters 2 and 3: Broadband Infrastructure requirements are added to all new construction and rehabilitation projects.
    • Chapter 5 - Tax Credit Only: An Energy Model is added to the list of end of construction submittals (before issuance of IRS form 8609).
    • Chapter 9 - Federally Funded Projects:
      • Latest HOME and National Housing Trust Fund property standards are incorporated into this chapter as applicable.
      • Appendix A - Uniform Property Conditions Standards (UPCS) for Multifamily Rehab is added to accompany Chapter 9.
    Architect’s Guide 
    • Chapter 3 - Architecture Compensation: To provide guidance surrounding additional professional services/fees after the Owner/Architect agreement is signed, the following language is added:
      • Additional compensation after an executed Owner/Architect agreement is not allowed without preapproval by Minnesota Housing and a formal amendment to agreement is executed by both parties. 
      • Additional compensation is not allowed solely due to construction cost escalation. 
      • Additional compensation may only be considered if the architect’s scope of work changes due to extra services, extra time, extra sub-consultant services, or other approved additional cost circumstances.
    Contractor’s Guide
    • Includes minor changes in formatting and some clarification on what is included in the general conditions.
    Physical Needs Assessment Template (Multifamily) and 20 Year Capital Expenditure Template.
    • Both forms are revised to reconcile better with the RHD/CS and to include clearer Critical Needs documentation. 
    Environmental Assessments
    Our Asbestos Inspection Survey requirements are updated and are available on the Environmental Standards webpage.
    ENERGY STAR Update
    A simplification of ENERGY STAR Multifamily Eligibility Requirements was issued on February 23, 2017 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Read about the changes for four- and five-story multifamily buildings.
    Project Spotlight: Higher Ground Saint Paul
    This new construction building on the Dorothy Day Center campus includes five stories of permanent housing, pay-for-stay beds and overnight shelter. Structural systems include pre-cast concrete floor, walls, beams and columns. The exterior is finished in architectural pre-cast concrete, brick, glazed brick and metal panels. The interior includes glazed masonry walls, impact resistance dry wall, tile and burnished/polished concrete floors. Both interior and exterior include extremely durable 100-year life expectancy materials. The building is designed to meet the Minnesota State Sustainable Building Requirements (aka Building, Benchmarks and Beyond/SB2030).
    • Developer: Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis
    • General Contractor: Watson-Forsberg Construction
    • Architect: Cermak Rhoades
    • Construction Costs: $31,100,000
    • Dwelling Units/Sleeping Units: 471
      • 139 permanent housing SRO units
      • 54 pod SRO units
      • 48 pay-for-stay beds
      • 203 overnight shelter beds
    If you have questions about this eNews or other rental housing design and construction topics, contact one of our staff architects. Find out which architect works in your region.
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