Metro Cities News 09/03/21


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Minnesota Housing Requests Feedback from Cities on Affordable Housing Plan

Minnesota Housing has released its draft two-year affordable housing plan for public comment. The $4 billion plan identifies activities the agency will carry out over the next two years and provides an estimate of resources it expects to make available. This includes approximately $2 billion to serve roughly 100,000 households in each of the next two years.

The plan includes about $535 million for COVID-19 housing recovery, primarily rental and homeownership assistance for individuals and families that have faced a COVID-19- related economic hardship. The proposed spending breakdown also includes $2.3 billion for homebuyer financing and home refinancing, $6 million for homebuyer education and counseling, $117 million for home improvement lending, $272 million in new rental construction and rental rehabilitation, among other uses. Comments can be submitted to [email protected]. The deadline is 12 noon on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

DEED Launches Child Care Grants

The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a round of Child Care Economic Development Grants. The issue of access to affordable childcare as an economic development need in communities has been raised by members in Metro Cities’ Housing and Economic Development policy committee.

The state grants authorize $5 million over the next two years for grants to local communities to increase quality childcare providers. A total of $2.5 million will be available in this first round with a second round of funding that will be made available before June 2022.

DEED is seeking proposals from local governments or nonprofits with experience in the operations, financing, advocacy, or advancement of the delivery of childcare services. Qualified parties may request up to $300,000 in state funds. Program funds can be used for childcare business startups or expansions, training, facility modifications, direct subsidies, or incentives to retain employees, or improvements required for licensing, and assistance with licensing and other regulatory requirements.

Priority will be given to communities that have a documented shortage of providers in their proposed project area. The definition of documented shortages may include disparities in access to affordable quality childcare among targeted groups including but not limited to rural communities, low-income communities, Black, Indigenous and people of color individuals, persons with disabilities, veterans, and women.

Upcoming Informational Webinar
Tuesday, Sept. 7th from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

To join the meeting from your smartphone, tablet or computer, click the Microsoft Teams meeting link here or you can join by phone: 651-395-7448 (Conference ID 615 908 620#). Additional questions can be submitted by email to [email protected] no later than 4:00 pm, on September 18, 2021.

Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm, September 30, 2021. Proposals should be submitted by email to [email protected] in a single PDF file.


Apply for Share of $64 million in Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants Beginning September 20

DEED will begin accepting applications for the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program on September 20. This program was approved by the legislature during the June 2021 special session and included in the FY22-23 budget signed into law by Governor Walz.

A total of $64.2 million is available in grants for businesses that demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic. Funding will be distributed in a 50/50 split between the Twin Cities metropolitan area and Greater Minnesota. Businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals; employ 6 people or fewer; and/or did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs will be prioritized in the selection process.

Selected applicants will receive an amount between $10,000 and $25,000 based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees. To be eligible, businesses must operate in Minnesota and be majority owned by a resident of Minnesota. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found at DEED’s Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program page.

Upcoming Informational Webinars
Tuesday, September 14th at 11:00 am
Monday, September 20th at 10:00 am
If you have questions, you can email [email protected]

The application portal will open September 20, 2021 and will accept applications for 10 days after opening. Applications will close on September 29 at 11:59 p.m. Afterward, grant applications will be selected for consideration through a computer-generated, randomized selection process. 


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