The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) is pleased to announce $1.57 million dollars in proposed funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) to enable the construction of Minnehaha Townhomes. The 16-unit townhome development will provide permanent housing for families exiting Hennepin County homeless shelters. The MHFA contribution would be by far the largest component of a financing package from various sources; with this crucial investment, the vision for Minnehaha Townhomes is close to reality.

“These 16 homes are a rare opportunity to directly take on the crisis in housing for large, very low-income families,” said MPHA Executive Director and CEO Cora McCorvey.  “Although the need is enormous, this project will be life-changing for the deserving families who live there, and should be a model for future efforts.” The current groundbreaking target is the summer of 2017, with townhomes available for move-in the following spring. [UPDATE, FALL 2017: Groundbreaking has been delayed until 2018.]

The townhomes will feature four buildings of four units each, on a presently vacant site on Riverview Road in the Minnehaha neighborhood of Minneapolis. Along with Hennepin County and other partners, MPHA will combine stable, quality housing with essential, on-site social services for families seeking to emerge from a cycle of homelessness.  Units of two, three, and four bedrooms will suit families of varying size. The grounds feature a community garden, children’s play area, outdoor patio, and connections to city sidewalk and trail systems.

“With Minnehaha Townhomes, we’ve got an ideal combination of design and location to enable families to succeed and move forward,” said MPHA Director of Policy and Special Initiatives Bob Boyd. The site is a quarter-mile from a Metro Transit light rail station, providing crucial transportation to jobs, shopping, and services for families who are unlikely to have cars. It is walking distance from the VA Medical Center and Minnehaha Regional Park.

The Minnehaha Townhomes are a part of MPHA’s “Shelter-to-Housing” initiative, and would be constructed and operated by MPHA under its “Faircloth” authority, which provides a federal operating subsidy for public housing units. As HUD does not have a development program, construction of these homes requires funding for other sources, such as MHFA.  The $1.57 million in proposed deferred-loan funding for the Minnehaha Townhomes is part of an $80 million MHFA investment statewide in funding for affordable housing in 2016.

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