Housing Trust Fund Strategy

The Housing Trust Fund strategy identifies five key objectives to address housing issues. The strategy builds upon the findings of the Saint Paul Fair Housing Working Group and community engagement during the City’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan process as well as Mayor Carter’s Voices of Our Community and Imagine Our City listening sessions. 

Objective One: Meet the needs of those with the lowest incomes by increasing supply

The lowest income residents in St. Paul are the most cost-burdened and have the fewest existing housing options.

Approach:

  • Deepen the affordability of new units being financed by the City.

Components:

  • Provide financing to deepen the impact of housing investments in new multifamily units, providing additional subsidy to deepen affordability level of a portion of new units below 60% AMI to serve residents in our community with incomes at or below 30% AMI, 40% AMI, and 50% AMI.

Objective Two: Invest in Low and Moderate Income Residents by Investing in the Existing Supply

Maintaining the housing options that are already serving low and moderate income families will ensure we don’t lose ground on increasing the supply, and will prevent displacement.

Approach:

  • Provide financing to address physical needs of property and to incentivize owners to continue serving low and moderate income residents.

Components:

  • Provide financing for subsidized multifamily housing that is at risk due to physical needs or market pressures.
  • Evaluate and continue financing of the Rental Rehab Loan Program for owners of small rental properties to address capital needs in exchange for continued affordability.
  • Create an inventory of NOAH properties in St. Paul; share data and create financing tool to facilitate preservation of properties that are at risk
  • Establish a 4d program to allow owners of NOAH properties to receive a property tax reduction in exchange for ongoing affordability.

Objective Three: Explore Innovative Approaches to Meeting Housing Needs

Piloting programs and options to produce affordable opportunities more efficiently will allow more direct benefit to be passed on to the residents we serve.

Approach:

  • Finance innovative design and construction models that reduce the cost of production of units, and consider pilot programs to test the impact of direct subsidy programs.

Components:

  • Explore promising design and construction technologies and pilot funding to support implementation and evaluation.
  • Implement a direct subsidy pilot that delivers subsidy directly to residents to provide deeper affordability in the current market crisis.

Objective Four: Build Wealth for Residents and Communities

Targeting housing investments in ways that increase affordability and the resources available to low-income residents and communities will build long-term financial stability.

Approach:

  • Provide resources to support development of dedicated affordable homeownership units, resources to support new and existing homeowners, and support affordable housing models that promote wealth building.

Components:

  • Support homeownership units created under the Community Land Trust (CLT) model
  • Support existing Inspiring Communities efforts for development of additional affordable homeownership opportunities
  • Provide resources to assist residents in attaining and maintaining homeownership.
  • Support integration of affordable housing models with wealth building models
  • Promote an inclusive financing and development process that supports a pool of diverse developers and contractors.

Objective Five: Promote Fair Access to Housing for All of Us

Ensuring fair access to housing and displacement prevention are important to increase stability and provide equitable outcomes in the community.

Approach:

  • Expand tenant protections, provide landlord training, and maximize coordination between City departments to ensure an integrated approach.

Components:

  • Pass tenant protections agenda establishing tenant bill of rights, addressing the disparate impact of criminal background and credit checks, eviction protections, and requiring advance notice of property sales.
  • Coordinate on landlord training regarding Fair Housing, property management best practices and Section 8.
  • Coordination among City departments to ensure our systems work to promote fair housing, prevent displacement, and are effective in preventing and ending homelessness.