MHP releases rural rental housing policy report

Minnesota Housing Partnership has released Rural Rental Housing: Report and Recommendations (April 2020).  

The report is a culmination of stakeholder surveys and a fall 2019 convening of rural rental housing policy stakeholders in Little Falls, Minnesota. Rural housing advocates and community members met to talk about solutions to a variety of rural rental housing challenges. Even within the context of a world coping with the effects of COIVD-19, the recommendations from this group remain relevant, with identified needs magnified.

The discussion included a focus on Minnesota’s unique portfolio of USDA Rural Development 515 properties, or rural rental housing that supports residents, elders and families with very low income averaging $16,500 annually. Participants also focused on Minnesota’s manufactured home communities, 65% of which are located in Greater Minnesota. 

The workshop helped identify immediate and critical needs for rural rental housing in Minnesota. 

Immediate needs include: 

  • Protect low income renters with housing assistance. In Minnesota, state leaders must provide housing assistance of at least $100 million through the Family Homeless Prevention Assistance Program (FHPAP) or another rental assistance program. At the federal level, $100 billion in emergency rental assistance ( to include renters in USDA financed rental housing) is necessary. 

Additional critical needs: 

  • Preserve the USDA rental housing portfolio, with funding to ensure ongoing safe maintenance, operations, and rehabilitation 
  • Capacity building and technical assistance for owners and prospective owners of rural rental housing 
  • Ensure long term affordability and opportunities for resident ownership in manufactured home communities 
  • Engagement of people and communities in Greater Minnesota to ensure that the people most affected by our rural housing challenges are at the table when decisions are made.

Thank you to event sponsors the Housing Justice Center, Initiative Foundation, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Minnesota Housing, and Minnesota Housing Partnership. Appreciation to organizing partner Minnesota NAHRO. 

View and download the full report here. Read the accompanying cover letter here.