Important 2016 RFP Dates
  • Monday, April 18: Intent to Apply and application materials published on our website
  • Monday, May 2: Preservation and Section 811 pre-apps due 
  • Thursday, June 2: Intent to Apply due for all applications
  • Thursday, June 16: Complete applications due
Sustainability Policy Update
Minnesota Housing has adopted the new 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria (2015 EGCC), as amended through our 2016 MN Overlay. This new version will take effect April 2016. See a full summary of changes in the 2016 MN Overlay.
Key changes to our sustainability policy for 2016 include:
  • Moderate Rehabilitation projects will now be required to include 30 Optional Criteria Points in addition to required Mandatory Criteria. Previously, only 15 Optional Criteria Points were required.
  • Multifamily and Single Family funded project requirements have been divided into separate chapters in the MN Overlay. Chapter 6 includes Multifamily requirements and Chapter 7 includes Single Family requirements. Other chapters are applicable to both.
  • New Minnesota Housing Intended Methods Worksheets - for Multifamily funded projects and Single Family funded projects - have been created and will be required to document compliance with the sustainability requirements. The 2011 Green Communities Compliance Workbook (Intended Methods) will no longer be accepted for projects applying for funding as of April 2016.
Notable changes in the 2015 EGCC include:
  • An emphasis on resident health and well being
  • An emphasis on resilient communities
  • Fewer location + neighborhood fabric requirements for rehabilitation projects
  • Requirement for an Emergency Management Manual
  • Removal of 12 Optional Points for Project Date Collection and Monitoring from 2011 version
2016 Building Standards Updates
The following guides and standards have been updated for the 2016 Consolidated RFP and are effective for projects applying for funding as of April 2016. These documents are available on the Minnesota Housing Building Standards webpage.
2016 MN Overlay to the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities
See the Sustainability Policy Update above and a full summary of the 2016 MN Overlay.
  • Waiver Request form: Projects voluntarily seeking EGCC Certification must follow all submittal requirements on the Enterprise website and will not use the Intended Methods Worksheet. For projects not voluntarily seeking EGCC Certification, waivers for deviations from the MN Overlay/EGCC must be submitted to Minnesota Housing on the new Waiver Request form.
Rental Housing Design/Construction Standards (RHD/CS)  
See a full summary of changes to the 2016 RHD/CS. Key changes include:
  • Windowless bedrooms are allowed. Up to one windowless bedroom is allowed per dwelling unit as long as it is a code approved sleeping room and borrowed natural light is provided.
  • Safe medicine storage is required, however it is not necessarily required to be in a  medicine cabinet.
  • Chapter 3 - Rehabilitation is reorganized to reconcile better with the Minnesota Housing Physical Needs Assessment Template and the 20 Year Capital Expenditure Template.
  • Chapter 10 - Critical Needs & Preservation Housing Projects is added. This new chapter better defines what rehabilitation work Minnesota Housing considers as a Critical Need.
Architect’s Guide
Changes in the 2016 version are minor with a focus on clarity.
Contractor’s Guide
There were a number of changes, most notably is the change in Construction Retainage. Pay application retainage has been reduced to a flat 5 percent, unless required to be higher by other funding source(s). 
Physical Needs Assessment Template (Multifamily) and 20 Year Capital Expenditure Template
Both of these forms have been revised to reconcile better with the RHD/CS and to include more straightforward Critical Needs documentation.
Building Design Resources and Tip Sheets
Check out the latest resources available on our Building Standards page:
ENERGY STAR for Homes Update
Courtesy of Ed Von Thoma of Building Knowledge
The latest update to ENERGY STAR for Homes, Version 3.1 (ES v3.1) becomes effective for buildings permitted in Minnesota on or after April 1, 2016. ES v3.1 includes the following changes, among others, to the core energy efficiency measures used to determine the ENERGY STAR HERS Index target for each home: 
  • Insulation level per the 2012 IECC criteria, which includes R-5 continuous insulation on the 2x6 wood frame exterior walls
  • Window U-value minimum of 0.27
  • Minimum heating efficiencies of 95% AFUE for gas furnaces and 90% AFUE for gas boilers and 90% of light bulbs or fixtures ENERGY STAR certified.
Minnesota Housing Note to ES v3.1
Minnesota Housing will require all applicable projects applying for funding after April 1, 2016 to comply with ENERGY STAR for Homes 3.1 version. Projects approved for funding before this date may request a waiver from Minnesota Housing to use the 3.0 version, with the understanding that the use of this version may not result in ENERGY STAR Certification.
ENERGY STAR Qualified Window, Door, and Skylight Performance Levels
There are new prescriptive path performance levels effective as of January 1, 2016 for windows, doors, and skylights in all climate zones. Please go to the ENERGY STAR Residential Window, Doors, and Skylights web page for more information. Keep in mind that window, door, and skylight efficiency levels may be less than the prescriptive performance level if the energy model demonstrates overall energy compliance.
Project Spotlight: Hamline Station West, Saint Paul
This new 57-unit apartment building was completed in February 2016 and is a mixed-use, transit oriented development located on the northeast corner of Hamline and University in Saint Paul. The overall development consists of two, 4-story buildings over shared underground parking. Hamline Station West received funding from U.S. Bank (as both lender and tax credit investor), Minnesota Housing (first mortgage), City of Saint Paul, Met Council and sales tax rebate proceeds.
  • Developer: Project for Pride in Living (PPL), Inc.
  • ArchitectElness Swenson Graham (ESG) Architects
  • General Contractor: Anderson Companies
  • Construction Costs$9,337,000 ($163,807/DU)
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.
Are you planning a groundbreaking or grand opening for a development we financed? We'd love to hear from you! Contact Megan Ryan with details. 
400 Sibley Street, Suite 300 | Saint Paul, MN 55101 US
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