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Minnesota Housing will invest $87.5 million in 1,700 new and existing housing units for low-income Minnesotans this year.
The money will be used to build or renovate 1,343 apartments and 374 single-family homes to house disadvantaged individuals and families in 55 communities throughout the state.
The state agency helps fund a variety of housing initiatives using a range of tools including grants, loans and tax credits.
The agency said its latest investment will support more than 3,600 jobs across the state and will leverage an additional $364 million in private and local resources to help support development of that housing.
The annual funding round was announced this week by Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal and other community leaders at an apartment building that’s run by the Jeremiah Program, which provides housing to single mothers. The group will use its latest funds to open additional housing in Rochester.
Funding amounts and sources vary year to year. The agency awarded $126 million last year, but included several funding sources that weren’t included in this year’s total, Tingerthal said.
For example, this year the group awarded $3.2 million more in 9% federal housing tax credits because of a temporary increase authorized by Congress. But the group awarded $12.5 million less in deferred loans and grants compared with last year because developers were reluctant to apply for that financing pending authorization of other state funding sources.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that plans to use its allocation to double the size of its Lydia Apartments in Minneapolis, a 40-unit rental building in the Stevens Square neighborhood for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.
Residents with mental health and chemical dependency issues have access to on-site support services and case managers provided by Avivo, a nonprofit that helps more than 18,000 people with addiction, employment and economic issues every year.
Since the Lydia Apartments opened in 2003, more than 200 residents have lived in the building and have received support.
Beacon will renovate the existing building and will build an addition to the building that will include 38 additional rental units.
The $13 million project will get a $5.4 million investment from Minnesota Housing, including $4.2 million in housing infrastructure bonds, $1.2 million in financing and $497,000 in tax credits. Work is expected to begin in early 2020.
Lee Blons, Beacon’s executive director, said that the latest support for the Lydia project is particularly gratifying given that when the group started operating the building 15 years ago there was pushback from some neighbors who were concerned about the building’s impact on the area.
That’s no longer the case, Blons said, noting that there are now about 800 single adults on a waiting list for supportive housing in Hennepin County.
Blons said that during the early days, opponents of the project would picket the building every Sunday.
“Those fears have really dissipated,” she said. “It goes to the idea that this kind of supportive housing works for the people who live in it, but also for the neighborhood itself.”
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