City calls for proposals to build 100 'green' homes in north Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis is seeking proposals from developers to construct 100 “green” homes on City-owned vacant lots in North Minneapolis in the next five years. The new housing program, called Green Homes North, will build sustainable homes to green standards using local minority and women contractors and workers, and locally-sourced green products. It will target areas of North Minneapolis where neighborhood stabilization is most needed. Proposals are due by August 15.

Funding from the City, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Family Housing Fund will provide $1 million in grants and up to $2 million in loans to private and non-profit developers with demonstrated new home construction knowledge and experience.  Program funds will assist developers with development gap financing, a grant to cover the difference between the fair market value sales price and the total development cost.Interim construction financing will come in the form of a loan to the developer. Terms will be based on the funding provided to the project.

Homes will be built in targeted areas of development where there is existing City and partners’ investment or blocks with several vacant lots to be developed. Existing incentive programs will assist in bringing new homebuyers to this market. Buyer income restrictions will apply.

Proposals that minimize the use of the subsidy and provide the highest standards of quality design, energy efficiency and overall sustainability will be prioritized in the selection process. Proposals will be reviewed by a design committee and by the neighborhood where the property is located.

The City encourages local workforce hiring and the use of local, minority and women contractors and businesses to participate in the construction of these homes. The City of Minneapolis Employment and Training Program (METP) will provide free training and job placement services through its RENEW Minneapolis- Green Homes North program that focuses on green construction skills.

Strategic partners in developing the Green Homes North program guidelines are Minnesota Housing; The McKnight Foundation; Family Housing Fund; Northside Home Fund; Twin Cities Community Land Bank; Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center; The Center for Sustainable Building Research and the College of Design, University of Minnesota; architects; employers; green product providers; realtors; developers; neighborhoods and residents of North Minneapolis.

Visit the City's website for information on Green Homes North and the City’s foreclosure recovery plan.

Published Jul. 24, 2012