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Minnesota Legislature

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462A.33 Economic development and housing challenge program.

Subdivision 1. Created. The economic development and housing challenge program is created to be administered by the agency.

The program shall provide grants or loans for the purpose of construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, construction financing, permanent financing, interest rate reduction, refinancing, and gap financing of housing to support economic development activities or job creation within a community or region by meeting locally identified housing needs.

Subd. 2. Eligible recipients. Challenge grants or loans may be made to a city, a private developer, a nonprofit organization, or the owner of the housing, including individuals. For the purpose of this section, "city" has the meaning given it in section 462A.03, subdivision 21. Preference shall be given to challenge grants or loans for home ownership. To the extent practicable, grants and loans shall be made so that an approximately equal number of housing units are financed in the metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, and in the nonmetropolitan area.

Subd. 3. Contribution requirement; regulatory flexibility. Challenge grants or loans must be used for economically viable homeownership or rental housing proposals that:

(1) include a financial or in-kind contribution from an area employer and either a unit of local government or a private philanthropic, religious, or charitable organization; and

(2) address the housing needs of the local work force.

For the purpose of this subdivision, an employer contribution may consist partially or wholly of federal housing tax credits. Preference for grants and loans shall be given to comparable proposals that include regulatory changes that result in identifiable cost avoidance or cost reductions, such as increased density, flexibility in site development standards, or zoning code requirements.

Preference for grants and loans shall also be given to comparable proposals that include a financial or in-kind contribution from a unit of local government, an area employer, and a private philanthropic, religious, or charitable organization.

Subd. 4. State and local government cooperation. In making challenge grants or loans, the commissioner must develop a joint application process and coordinate funding with funding available to the commissioner of trade and economic development and local governments for housing and infrastructure construction and repair.

Subd. 5. Income limits. Households served through challenge grants or loans must not have incomes that exceed, for homeownership projects, 115 percent of the greater of state or area median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and for rental housing projects, 115 percent of the greater of state or area median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Subd. 6. Large-scale projects. At least one proposal funded under this section must provide sufficient resources to make a significant impact on the housing needs and economic development activities within a community.

Subd. 7. Grants and loans to individuals. Preference shall be given to grants and loans that provide down payments and other assistance to individuals to purchase a home. The commissioner must coordinate home ownership assistance provided to individuals under this section with other programs administered by or through the commissioner.

HIST: 1999 c 223 art 2 s 56