This month, MPHA officials joined city, state, and nonprofit partners at the grand opening of The Louis, 70 units of affordable family housing built by Aeon in Prospect Park. With MPHA’s $3 million, 20-year commitment of project-based vouchers (PBVs), 10 apartments at The Louis will serve families below 30 percent of area median income.

PBVs are a powerful tool. In contrast to a tenant-based Section 8 voucher, PBVs attach to a building or unit. While other affordable housing funders might be in a position to fund the construction of a development, MPHA is one of the few entities who can actually provide ongoing subsidy to those units going forward. By strategically awarding PBVs, MPHA can help bring great projects like The Louis to the finish line and assure units for the lowest-income families — units that are available for the long-term.

MPHA currently has more than 700 PBVs in buildings across Minneapolis, with more on the way. This summer we celebrated groundbreakings at Maya Commons (near Dinkytown, with four PBVs) and The Redwell (right next to MPHA’s central office, in the North Loop, with 22 PBVs).

PBVs have largely the same eligibility rules and rent calculation as public housing. It might seem a little odd at first, but housing authorities like MPHA can also place PBVs at properties that we own. This is a technique that will help MPHA stabilize our federal subsidy and reinvest in our public housing properties in the years ahead.