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Workforce Housing Development Program (WHDP)

Grants and Loans to Eligible Minnesota
Cities to Develop Rental Housing

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Minnesota Housing

Deadline Date:

12/17/20 12:00 PM CST


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Grants and loans to Minnesota cities to develop housing units for local working residents. Funding is intended for communities in small to mid-size cities with a demonstrated demand for rental housing needs and proven job growth. The rental properties would serve employees of businesses located in the Eligible Project Area or surrounding area. Eligible costs include the purchase of property; construction of improvements; and provisions of loans or subsidies, grants, interest rate subsidies, public infrastructure, and related financing costs. Eligible project areas with fewer than 30,000 people will be given preference. Preference will also be given to projects with a higher proportion of units that are not income-restricted.

The purpose of the Program is to help finance Qualified Expenditures of project-specific costs resulting in the direct development of Market Rate Residential Rental Properties to address the lack of workforce housing in Greater Minnesota. Funds will be awarded as grants or deferred loans to cities and other eligible entities. Recipients will partner with developers to create new Market Rate Residential Rental Properties.

All Recipients must maintain compliance with Program requirements through the term of the Deferred Loan Agreement or Grant Contact Agreement; however, Minnesota Housing strongly encourages Recipients to assess local housing needs beyond the initial funding term. Projects that remain available and affordable to the local workforce beyond the initial funding term will further strengthen the community by providing a long-term housing asset. Recipients are encouraged to look beyond the initial funding term to address local workforce housing needs into the foreseeable future.

Eligible Uses of Funds:

Funds are available for Qualified Expenditures of project-specific costs resulting in the direct development of Market Rate Residential Rental Properties. The rental properties would serve employees of businesses located in the Eligible Project Area or surrounding area. Recipients or Subrecipients can award funds in the form of grants or loans. If Recipients or Subrecipients award funds as a loan, then the loan terms must be as set forth in section 3.02 of the Program Guide. In addition, fees or interest charged cannot unduly enrich any parties involved and must not exceed the estimated amount to cover administrative expenses of the Program.

Eligible types of housing include new construction or acquisition and rehabilitation or reuse of an existing property that is not currently used for housing.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 137257

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Minnesota Housing expects to fund multiple projects through the 2020 request for proposals (RFP) cycle.

Estimated Size of Grant:

An individual project award cannot exceed 25 percent of the total development costs.

Term of Contract:

Grant terms will be three years. Deferred loans will: (i) be unsecured; (ii) have a 0% interest rate; and (iii) will be forgiven after three years. Construction must begin within 12 months of signing the Contract. Construction completion must occur within 24 months of construction start. Minnesota Housing reserves the right to extend or amend Contracts.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are generally small to mid-sized cities in Greater Minnesota. Eligible applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- Must be an eligible project area (generally small and medium-sized cities in Greater Minnesota)
- Must be working with a developer
- Must have a viable proposal for the development of a Market Rate Residential Rental Property, which can include mixed income.

An eligible recipient is an eligible project area. An eligible project area is either:
- A home rule charter or statutory city located outside of the metropolitan area with a population exceeding 500;
- A community that has a combined population of 1,500 residents located within 15 miles of a home rule charter or statutory city located outside the metropolitan area; or
- An area served by a joint county-city economic development authority.

A metropolitan area is defined as the area over which the Metropolitan Council has jurisdiction, which includes Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Carver, Scott, Dakota, and Washington counties. The following cities within these counties are not defined as part of the metropolitan area and are eligible to apply:

- Northfield
- Cannon Falls
- Hanover
- Rockford
- New Prague

The metropolitan area is not eligible to receive funding under this program.

To find out if your community qualifies, see the Eligible City List in Supporting Documents below.

Projects are eligible if the average vacancy rate for rental housing located in the eligible project area, and in any other city located within 15 miles of the boundaries of the area, has been five percent or less for at least the prior two-year period. Applicants will need to provide a self-certification form that states the vacancy rate for the prior two years.

Program applications must meet all threshold requirements in order to be eligible.

Note: Minnesota Housing will not review applications submitted by developers.

Ineligible uses of funds include any expenses that do not directly contribute to the development of Market Rate Residential Rental Properties. Awarded Program funds cannot exceed 25 percent of the total project costs. In addition, Program funds received by a Subrecipient may only be awarded or loaned to another entity that owns the project and in which the Subrecipient possesses an ownership interest. Any funds awarded or loaned by a Subrecipient must obtain the prior written consent of Minnesota Housing, which consent may be withheld in its sole discretion.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by 12:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, December 17, 2020. Selection and funding recommendations will be presented to the Minnesota Housing board in March 2021.

Communities are required to secure matching funds, one dollar for every two dollars in funding offered through the program. A match can come from the local government, a business, or a nonprofit organization.

There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by a single applicant.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applicants must submit materials using the Multifamily Secure Upload Tool. To use the secure upload tool, click here:

Submit materials to

For questions, please email and Sara Bunn will respond to your inquiry.

Sara Bunn:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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