Rooted in Minnesota but recognized as a leader nationwide, Minnesota Housing Partnership specializes in working with rural communities and tribal entities to strengthen their communities.
Through a competitive application process, the Strengthening Rural Communities Program provides technical assistance to rural communities to overcome impediments to successful planning and implementation of affordable housing and community development projects.
From innovative planning practices to knowledge of complex federal housing programs, our proven track record of financial and technical expertise gives organizations the ability to build and preserve housing and community assets.
Eligible Projects & Activities
The Strengthening Rural Communities Program provides assistance for rural communities in:
- Increasing affordable housing development and rehab capacity, particularly multi-family housing development capacity to address housing needs of the lowest-income residents
- Increasing capacity to access program funding (particularly HUD programs) and layer subsidies, and related need for early-stage project financial assistance
- Increasing project and program capacity to deliver supportive services and develop supportive housing, particularly for growing senior populations in rural areas
- Increasing capacity in comprehensive sustainable community and economic development
MHP encourages a regional approach to housing and community development. This can include the awarded beneficiary serving multiple entities by collaborating on a shared need. Successful applications must demonstrate a commitment by local community stakeholders to project or program implementation.
The following are NOT eligible for assistance:
- General operating support
- Direct housing services including affordable gap assistance
- Direct housing development costs
- Organizations with missions that fall outside the housing and community development arena
- Lobbying or other direct political activities
- Activities for which the applicant already receives technical assistance or operating support funding from MHP
MHP provides technical assistance for projects that address housing needs, build capacity to access funding, align affordable housing with economic development and sustainable development, or require broader HUD program capacity to successfully implement new financing models for supportive/senior housing. Financial assistance may be available, as a grant or loan or combination of the two, in conjunction with an approved award.
Some examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:
- Staff development
- Obtaining CHDO designation
- Securing project funding
- Partnership development
- Development of projects
Who Can Apply
Beneficiaries awarded need to be located in a rural community and focused on addressing issues surrounding affordable housing and/or community or economic development.
- Rural housing development organizations
- Local units of government and political subdivisions
- Tribal governments and tribal corporate entities
- CHDOs and CDCs
- Articulates a compelling need for technical assistance in an underserved community; which may include low-income communities; Native communities; low-income seniors; households experiencing homelessness; racial/ethnic minority and/or immigrant populations; or other high risk populations
- Includes credible plan to address a compelling need
- Has staff and organizational leadership to undertake the proposed work
- Aligns with other organizational work and community efforts
- Exhibits sound financial capacity
- Demonstrates clear and measurable outcomes
Our Work in Action
MHP is working with stakeholders in Wisconsin on the vision and implementation of a new Indian Bowl that will include classrooms, exhibit space, a new performance arena and more. "The Indian Bowl has been the highlight of Lac du Flambeau for decades," Georgine Brown, President of the Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl, explains. "Throughout the years, many families here have been a part of the Indian Bowl shows, making it a renown tourist attraction in the northwoods of Wisconsin. We shared our culture and heritage for all to learn what we as Anishinaabeg were all about. Today, many of these families still enjoy performing the storytelling dances taught to us by our grandfathers and grandmothers. The rebuilding of the Indian Bowl will once again revitalize the community economically as tourist and visitors come to learn and share all our cultural differences." Read the full story.