Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program

The purpose of the Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program is to preserve existing affordable rental housing options in Saint Paul. Eligible properties include occupied single-family, duplex, triplex or fourplex rental buildings currently classified as C or D by the Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI).

The Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED) has reserved up to $750,000 to be distributed to responsible landlords desiring to upgrade their current property classification by making property improvements that increase the safety and quality rental units located in ACP50 priority areas (map below). The program targets responsible landlords who meet at least one of the following requirements AND obtains a letter of recommendation from the executive director of the district council where the property is located:

  • Landlord is able to show a history of upgrading to, and, maintaining their property/properties classified C or better by conducting small maintenance improvements; or
  • Landlords who show genuine desire to make upgrades to the property, but may not have been previously able, due to cost. 

Loan Limits and Term Length

  • Up to $30,000 per building
  • Amortized quarterly over 10 years
  • 0% interest
  • Distributed on a first come, first served basis until the program's complete fund of $750,000 has been distributed.

In order to help preserve our city’s affordable housing options, participating landlords must not increase rents of the assisted units by more than 3% per year while remaining at, or below, the HUD Fair Market Rents  for the entirety of the Loan term. More information is included in the “program policies” document.

Download Program Policies

Please be aware of the following if you plan to apply for a loan from the Rental Rehabilitation Program:
 
  • If you are awarded a loan, DO NOT permit your contractors to start work on your property prior to loan closing. Work started before loan closing is not eligible for funding.
  • Rents of the assisted units will be restricted to no more than a 3% yearly increase while also remaining at or below Fair Market Rents (less tenants paid utilities) for the duration of the loan term. 
  • The loan will be due in full if the borrower sells, transfers the title, or fails to comply with any of the other program requirements as defined in the loan documents.
  • After the completion of the project, the property must meet the minimum rental housing standards as confirmed by annual inspections.
  • Through the duration of the loan term, the property must not be down graded by DSI.
  • Landlords whose applications are accepted for this Program must submit the Annual Self Certification of Rents and Incomes with their application, as well as every year of the loan term. Tenant income restrictions only apply to areas outside of ACP50 areas which will be considered after the 6 month pilot period.

Eligibility 

Applicants are considered eligible to receive funding if they meet the following criteria listed on page 3 of the Program Policies.

Eligible Uses of Loan Funds:

Projects that would qualify for funding by the Rental Rehabilitation Program include, but are not limited to:

  • Improvements made to increase the livability and/or curb appeal of the property.
  • Improvements made to comply with ADA and Health and Safety regulations, including lead hazard reduction.
  • Landscaping work including ground cover (correcting poor grade around the foundation walls as a result of damage done by water infiltration.)
  • Limited professional services related to the improvements.

Ineligible Uses of Loan Funds:

  • Projects that include updating or adding appliances, furniture, hot tubs, whirlpools, baths, saunas, or other personal items;
  • New construction of decks, patios, sheds, fences, or other outbuilding;
  • Refinancing and working capital; and
  • Only cosmetic landscaping, such as trees, shrubs and sod.

For more information on eligible and ineligible uses of program funds, please see page 3 of the Program Policies.

Priority Consideration

For the first six months of this pilot program, the property must be located within an ACP50 designated area. Approved and complete applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.

Type your address into the search bar of the map below to see if your property is located within the ACP50 area. If your property is shown with an orange house icon on top of it, your property is considered high-priority for this program. If your property is not marked with an orange house, you are ineligible to receive funding during the first six months of this program. 

However, even if you are ineligible for the first six months of the Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program, you are still encouraged to apply, as there may be remaining funds to be distributed after the first six months have passed.  

 
 

Secondary Consideration

If there are funds remaining after six months, higher consideration will be given to responsible landlords whose property meets the previous criteria, or one or more of the following:
 
  • The rents of tenants are at or below HUD Fair Market Rents;
  • If located outside of ACP50 designated areas, the property is currently housing low-income persons and will continue to do so throughout the 10 year term of the loan;
  • The landlord is applying for funds to support rehabilitation work that focuses on safety concerns (combined with street appeal issues) that may result in condemnation if not addressed;
  • Property currently houses tenants with Section 8 vouchers;
  • Property serves special need populations (i.e., ADA); and/or
  • The property has more than three bedrooms.

Application Process and Checklist

Please note that some elements, like the written and signed referral  letter from your District Council, may take some time, so plan accordingly as you are completing your application.

PED will notify applicants of their decision within 30 days of receiving their application. If the application is accepted, a commitment letter of funding will be provided to the applicant. A loan closing will also be scheduled with the applicant. He or she will be required to sign a note, mortgage loan agreement and other documents with the City prior to commencing improvements. Other than for architectural designs, project expenditures made prior to the execution of a loan agreement are not eligible for reimbursement.

In order to provide your project with the best possible chance to receive funding, please make sure you have all the necessary documentation included in your application packet. 

Download an Application Checklist

Helpful Documents