Public Comments: 2021 Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) Program and NOFA
From the City of Minneapolis
The City of Minneapolis is preparing the 2021 Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) Program Policies and Procedures and the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for release later this spring. The Program’s purpose is to help finance the production, preservation, or stabilization of affordable rental housing projects with 10 or more units in Minneapolis. This program is revised on an annual basis. There are a number of changes proposed this year. View the draft documents for the AHTF Program and NOFA. All the proposed changes (both substantive and administrative) are listed below and are highlighted in yellow in the draft documents. Additional context for three of the more substantive policy additions/changes is provided below.
Addition of a Community Preference Policy to Affordable Housing Trust Fund projects
In 2020 as part of the City’s anti-displacement and racial equity work, the City of Minneapolis adopted a Community Preference Policy that applies to housing units resulting from the sale of City-owned property or financed through certain City funding programs. A community preference policy gives residents residing or formerly residing within certain geographies preference for specific city programs or housing projects. The goal of the preference policy is to disrupt involuntary displacement of Minneapolis residents, which disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, People of Color and immigrant households. Under this proposal, preference for up to 50% of the applicable units created under the Affordable Housing Trust Fund shall be given to eligible residents in the initial rental of those units. Eligible residents are former (since January 1, 2007) and existing residents of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)-designated areas of the city who self-certify to having experienced or being at risk of involuntary displacement due to extreme economic forces. More information is available in Attachment 19 of the AHTF Program Policies and Procedures and in this City Council action.
Addition of Equitable Development points
A new equitable development scoring criterion is proposed for projects that demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion through meaningfully involving community members most affected by housing instability and housing disparities to inform the project proposal. The proposal must also demonstrate how the project is responsive to the needs of communities most impacted by housing instability and disparities and prevent unwanted displacement. This criterion matches new scoring included in Minnesota Housing’s Qualified Allocation Plan. More information is available in Section III, T of the AHTF NOFA.
Continue evaluating cost reasonableness through use of Minnesota Housing’s Predictive Cost model and eliminate separate cost containment points that disincentivize housing production that meets important needs and goals
Cost containment remains a guiding principle, given great need for affordable rental housing and constrained resources, and continues to be incentivized, required through bidding requirements, and evaluated throughout project underwriting and selection. Elimination of this point category allows cost containment principles to better account for necessary factors related to City priorities of serving larger families, expanding the geographic distribution of affordable housing, increasing the energy efficiency and sustainability of housing, and supporting long term affordability by considering long term cost savings as opposed to only the cost of construction. Minnesota Housing has also moved away from this scoring criterion and is no longer publishing the cost containment benchmarks on which the City has historically relied to execute this point category.
All Changes to 2021 AHTF Program Policies and Procedures:
Section VIII W Green Communities updates
Section VIII II addition of Community Preference Policy and Supportive Housing Services
Section VIII JJ addition of 2BR or more at 30% AMI award of $40,000
Section VIII LL language regarding AHTF restricted units and rents
Section VIII PP language allowing second AHTF award date to supersede first award date
Section VIII TT language regarding AHTF restricted units and rents
Attachment 17 new language regarding Supportive Housing Services
Attachment 19 new addition of Community Preference Policy: AHTF
All Changes to 2021 AHTF Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA):
Section VIII new language regarding emerging developer status
Section IX new application requirements
All Changes to 2021 AHTF NOFA Scoring Criteria:
Section III H new language regarding Supportive Service Housing
Section III K deleted cost containment
Section III M updated senior housing policy goal ward eligibility
Section III S updated language for alignment with Minneapolis 2040 Goals
Section III T new scoring category Equitable Development
Comments regarding these proposed changes are being accepted for the next 45 days until 4:00 p.m. on May 2, 2021. Deliver or mail comments to the following:
Minneapolis CPED Attn: Carrie Goldberg 505 4th Avenue South, #320 Minneapolis, MN 55415 612-673-5240