There's wisdom in the old adage "many hands makes light work." Still, when it comes to tackling a community development project, getting the right people together at the right time is often easier said than done. That's where the Housing Institute for Greater Minnesota comes in.
Since 2010, the Housing Institute (delivered by MHP in partnership with the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund) has provided a forum for teams of community developers and local stakeholders to effectively and collaboratively tackle some of their communities' most pressing challenges. Outcomes emerging from the latest round of the Institute illustrate the powerful effect of working across sectors. Whether it is building support for downtown revitalization, recruiting developers to take on affordable housing projects, or developing regional housing information resources, the Institute provides a platform for teamwork that turns aspirations into action.
The Homes for All coalition is advocating for a historic $130 million in housing infrastructure bonds in the upcoming legislative session. The bonds will be used to preserve rental housing, develop new rental housing, develop homeownership opportunities, and create new units for Minnesotans experiencing homelessness. The ask includes a $110 million investment in Housing Infrastructure Bonds (HIB) and $20 million in General Obligation (GO) bonds for public housing and builds on the success of the coalition's $100 million bonding ask in 2014.
Governor Dayton’s $1.4 billion bonding request is the largest capital investment package ever proposed in Minnesota. The proposed bill would finance numerous public works projects throughout the state. And, according to estimates from the governor’s office, create 39,000 jobs. The bill "will strengthen our communities and improve the lives of Minnesotans," says Lt. Governor Tina Smith. Notably, $90 million of this request is earmarked for affordable housing.
Board encourages agency to further investigate conduit bonds: will consider waiver in the future
The agency was approached by a developer for $30 million in bond authority that a city had originally issued, but, due to a clerical error, went back to Minnesota Housing on December 1. At the time the clerical error was identified, the developer was close to closing and was slated to begin construction in March 2016. Because the project is a senior housing development, the developer cannot reapply to the city until May, delaying the project for five months. The developer has asked the agency to issue the bonds on behalf of the city so the project can break ground as scheduled.