Housing and Redevelopment Authority unanimously approves significant affordable housing investments for 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 13, 2019

CONTACT:
Hannah Burchill
Hannah.Burchill@ci.stpaul.mn.us
651-266-6575

Housing and Redevelopment Authority unanimously approves significant affordable housing investments for 2020

New and annual investments aim to address housing needs across the City

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) unanimously approved three resolutions addressing the broad continuum of Saint Paul housing needs. The resolutions include new program guidelines for a downpayment assistance program and Rent Supplement Pilot, and annual distribution of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

“Ensuring all of us can access safe, stable and affordable housing is vital to the future of our city,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “These new programs expand our toolbox and help us keep this promise for everyone in our community.”

The downpayment assistance program will provide homeownership opportunities to applicants at or below 60% Area Median Income (AMI). The program aims to improve housing stability in neighborhoods vulnerable to displacement and gentrification pressures. Loans up to $40,000 will be offered for downpayment and closing costs at 0% interest with a 30-year deferred term. Program launch is anticipated for Spring 2020.

The Rent Supplement Pilot will provide Saint Paul families a $300 monthly rent supplement and ongoing supportive services for three years, in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Schools. The pilot will serve households with incomes at or below 30% AMI, who pay 40% or more of their income for rent, are not receiving another housing subsidy, and have at least one Pre-K to 3rd-grade student enrolled in a participating school. Pilot launch is anticipated for early 2020.

Both programs are funded by the Housing Trust Fund, developed by Mayor Melvin Carter to produce, preserve, and protect housing affordability for Saint Paul residents. The contributions of flexible City dollars along with federal and state financing tools are intended to address the current crisis of housing affordability in Saint Paul and invest in a future city that works for all. Additional funding for the Rent Supplement Pilot has been provided by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

“These programs highlight the creative thinking and use of the Housing Trust Fund as a valuable financial tool to help address our affordable housing crisis,” said Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Chair Chris Tolbert. 

Recommendations for 2020 Low Income Housing Tax Credits include over $1 million in credits to be reserved or reallocated over two years for the development of 79 affordable units. The Low Income Housing Tax Credits program offers a reduction in federal tax liability to owners and investors in low-income housing developments that comply with rent and tenant income restrictions for a period of 30 years. Projects recommended include the North West University Dale construction at 625 University Ave, and Parkway Apartments, proposed at East 7th St and Bush Ave.

“There is no single strategy or program that can solve our housing crisis,” said Housing Director Kayla Schuchman. “Our team is dedicated to creative, collaborative and thoughtful approaches that deepen and widen our investments across Saint Paul.”

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