Rural Communities: Apply for assistance from MHP!

Rooted in Minnesota but recognized as a leader nationwide, Minnesota Housing Partnership specializes in working with rural communities and tribal entities to strengthen their communities. Since 1994, MHP has been helping local stakeholders break down the barriers to affordable housing, economic development and sustainable growth — giving community leaders the tools they need to create more vibrant places to live, work and raise their families.

We are now opening a call for technical assistance for local organizations to take advantage of our Strengthening Rural Communities Program. This program provides technical assistance to rural communities to overcome impediments to successful planning and implementation of affordable housing and community development projects. From innovative planning practices to knowledge of complex federal housing programs, our proven track record of financial and technical expertise gives organizations the ability to build and preserve housing and community assets.

Eligible Projects & Activities

For this round of the Strengthening Rural Communities Program, we are accepting applications for projects that require assistance in:

  • Increasing affordable housing development and rehab capacity, particularly multi-family housing development capacity to address housing needs of the lowest-income residents
  • Increasing capacity to access program funding (particularly HUD programs) and layer subsidies, and related need for early-stage project financial assistance
  • Increasing project and program capacity to deliver supportive services and develop supportive housing, particularly for growing senior populations in rural areas
  • Increasing capacity in comprehensive sustainable community and economic development

Successful applications must demonstrate a commitment by local community stakeholders to project or program implementation.

The following are NOT eligible for assistance:

  • General operating support
  • Direct housing services including affordable gap assistance
  • Direct housing development costs
  • Organizations with missions that fall outside the housing and community development arena
  • Lobbying or other direct political activities
  • Activities for which the applicant already receives technical assistance or operating support funding from MHP

Assistance Available

MHP will provide technical assistance for projects that address housing needs, build capacity to access funding, align affordable housing with economic development and sustainable development, or require broader HUD program capacity to successfully implement new financing models for supportive/senior housing. Financial assistance may be available, as a grant or loan or combination of the two, in conjunction with an approved award.

Some examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  • Staff development
  • Consulting
  • Obtaining CHDO designation
  • Securing project funding
  • Partnership development
  • Development of projects

Who Can Apply

  • Tax exempt nonprofits
  • Local units of government and political subdivisions
  • Tribal governments and tribal corporate entities

Evaluation Criteria

Proposed project:

  • Articulates a compelling need for technical assistance in an underserved community
  • Includes credible plan to address a compelling need
  • Has staff and organizational leadership to undertake the proposed work
  • Aligns with other organizational work and community efforts
  • Exhibits sound financial capacity
  • Demonstrates clear and measurable outcomes


Please complete a short on-line Request for Technical Assistance here.

(Click here for a preview of the application as a PDF)

After completing the online application, please submit the following to

  • Cover letter (on letter head) introducing your organization
  • Corporate resume or brochure (if available)
  • Any supporting documents such as letters of support, budgets, demographic information, maps, drawings, plans, etc.

Applications will be accepted until July 15, 2016 and internally evaluated by MHP’s Community Development staff to determine whether the proposed project meets the criteria. Within 30 days of receiving the application and any accompanying documents, MHP will complete its review, determine MHP’s level of investment and contact the applicant.

If you have questions about the Community Development Initiative, please contact Rosemary Fagrelius, Community Development Director at or 651.925.5542.