City Seeks Developers for 100 “Green” Homes in N. Mpls.

Minneapolis is now accepting proposals from developers to build 100 “green” homes in North Minneapolis over the next five years using $3 million in grants and loans.

The City of Minneapolis announced this week that it and two partners will provide up to $3 million in construction loans and grants for the building of 100 “green” homes in North Minneapolis over the next five years—and it is now accepting proposals from developers.

The funding is being provided as part of a new “Green Homes North” housing program.

The money—$1 million in grants and as much as $2 million in loans—will come from the city, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the Family Housing Fund. According to the city, the grant money will help developers cover the difference between the homes’ fair market value sales price and the overall development cost. Developers selected for the project will also receive interim construction financing in the form of loans.

“We have built green homes with our partners in North Minneapolis, and they’ve been a huge success, so now we’re taking that experiment to scale,” Mayor R.T. Rybak said in a prepared statement. “Green Homes North will provide another boost of confidence for the housing market, the building trades, and the neighborhood.”

The project specifically targets development on blocks with several vacant lots and areas that were hit hard by foreclosures.

“Green Homes North is the next step in the city’s aggressive ongoing efforts to rebuild neighborhoods impacted by foreclosures,” Tom Streitz, Minneapolis’ director of housing policy and development, said in a prepared statement. “We are seeing great progress in restoring our housing market in the City of Minneapolis, as evidenced by the recent increases in home sale prices in the city, and this will help build on that trend.”

Development proposals, which are due August 15, will be reviewed by a design committee and the neighborhood where the property is located. Priority will be given to proposals that “minimize the use of the subsidy and provide the highest standards of quality design, energy efficiency, and overall sustainability,” according to the city.

The city wants locally sourced green products to be used in the project and said that it would like to see local, women, and minority contractors and businesses involved. It will provide free training and job placement services through a city program that focuses on green construction skills.