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S.F. No. 908 - Workforce Housing Challenge Grants
Author: Senator Torrey N. Westrom
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: March 6, 2017


Section 1 [Workforce housing challenge grants]

               Subd. 1 [Definitions] defines “city,” “eligible project area,” “Greater Minnesota,” “joint county-city economic development authority,” “market rate residential rental properties,” “program,” “QCEW” (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages), “qualified investment,” “qualified workforce housing project,” and “workforce housing undersupply ratio” for the purposes of the workforce housing challenge grant program being created in the bill.

               Subd. 2 [Project investor grants] establishes a project investor grant program for workforce housing that is equal to 40 percent of the qualified investment by a project investor in a qualified workforce housing project meeting the definition in subdivision 1.  The requirements of the existing housing challenge grant program do not apply to the program created in this section.  This section also provides:

               (1) that money appropriated for this program does not cancel;

               (2) the Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority (MHFA) must not allocate more that 40 percent of money available to a single project investor;

               (3) applications for the grants must be available by November 1 of each year;

               (4) preference must be given to projects with the highest workforce housing undersupply ratio;

               (5) grant applications must be approved or denied within 15 days of receipt; and

               (6) the Commissioner of MHFA may revoke a grant if an investment is not made within one year.

               Subd. 3 [Reporting] requires an annual report on the grant program to legislative committees with jurisdiction over housing and economic development and provides for specific information to be included in the report.

Section 2 [Appropriation] reallocates $6.6 million each year from the MFHA appropriation for the existing housing challenge grants to the new program created in Section 1 of the bill.


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