Community Planning & Economic Development

Phone: (612) 673-5095
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About the Vacant Housing Recycling Program

Before After

The Vacant Housing Recycling Program (VHRP) facilitates blight removal, responsible development, and healthy housing markets in Minneapolis neighborhoods through acquisition and sale of residential vacant structures and lots. Its program manual was approved by the City of Minneapolis City Council on December 11, 2015 and updated by the CPED Director on June 7, 2016. The VHRP is a program of the Residential and Real Estate Development (RRED) work unit, which is part of the Community Planning and Economic Development department of the City of Minneapolis. RRED’s purpose statement is to create healthy, mixed income housing markets in the City of Minneapolis by developing opportunities for homeownership and responsibly managing land banked properties. 

Updates for the Vacant Housing Recycling Program are underneath the “General Information” topic in GovDelivery.

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Program Resources

All offers to purchase must be accompanied by documentation of financing. Applicants are encouraged to research financing options and establish a project budget before submitting an offer. Resources include:

Applicants are encouraged to research properties thoroughly. Below are links to resources that could be of assistance:

  • Property Info: for information about the building, zoning, sales, inspections, tax, assessment, and license history connected to a property.
  • Minneapolis Zoning Code: for information about the allowable uses within different zoning designations click on “Primary Zoning Districts”.
  • Major public works improvement projects: lots located along streets with major improvements planned may have future assessments, contact the Public Works department for more information. 
  • Topographic maps: the City of Minneapolis encourages development of accessible or visitable housing on sites with suitable topography. 
  • New Construction Process Guide and Checklist: an overview of the steps required to build a new 1-2 unit home in the City of Minneapolis.

Below are sample offers to purchase that can help applicants ensure they have completely filled out the offer documents:

  • Offer Example 1: a new construction proposal for a rental property from a developer.
  • Offer Example 2: a rehabilitation proposal from residents that plans to live in the property as their primary home.

Residential Properties for Sale

All vacant lots listed through the VHRP are for sale for development of a new construction residential property only. For a list of properties available for lease or purchase as community gardens or urban farms, see the Minneapolis Garden Lease Program website.

We are currently in the process of revising our list of vacant lots for sale. For inquiries about vacant lots for sale, please contact Earl Pettiford at (612) 673-5231. Vacant Structure List (pdf) 

The sale of properties to prospective purchasers is contingent upon meeting program criteria and is subject to the approval of the City Council. Prices are determined by appraisals and are not negotiable. The City has the right to refuse any and all offers received.

Submitting an Offer

The offers below are for the purpose of constructing or rehabilitating a 1-4 unit residential structure only. For example offers that are filled out that can be used as a reference guide, see the “Program Resources” section above.

Where to submit offers:

Offers and their attachments can be e-mailed to the Project Coordinator that is marketing the property. See the Vacant Lot List (pdf) and Vacant Structure List (pdf) in the “Residential Properties for Sale” section for the appropriate Project Coordinator. Alternatively, hard copies of offers and their attachments may be dropped off or mailed to the City of Minneapolis’s Community Planning and Economic Development office. Please address the offer to the attention of the appropriate Project Coordinator:

City of Minneapolis - CPED
105 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

After offers are submitted, there is typically a 90 day review and approval process by the Residential and Real Estate Development staff and the Minneapolis City Council.

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Last updated Dec 28, 2016