Sustainable Community Engagement Fund

The Minnesota Housing Partnership's Sustainable Community Engagement Fund (SCEF) helps communities develop sustainably by linking affordable housing to transportation, jobs, and services.  SCEF encourages collaboration and a comprehensive planning approach to address regional affordable housing needs.

SCEF awardees have access to direct technical assistance, thereby helping them to become strong, successful affordable housing providers. MHP's expert staff can help you collaborate with local partners, plan for regional growth, engage communities in housing solutions, and navigate federal regulations and housing programs.

Eligibility & Funding Criteria:

  • Must be located outside the seven-county Twin Cities metro area and Duluth.
  • The maximum grant amount is $10,000 and requires, at minimum, a 1:1 match.

See the program guidelines for more information on eligibility and funding criteria.

Interested in Applying?

Contact Bill Vanderwall, Capacity Building Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to obtain an application

Downloadable Program Guidelines:


Generous support from The McKnight Foundation and Minnesota Housing makes this program possible.




 2014 Loan & Grant Calendar*

Application Due Dates Loan and Grant Committee Meetings
August 26, 2013 September 16, 2013
October 28, 2013 November 18, 2013
December 23, 2013 January 13, 2014
February 24, 2014 March 17, 2014
April 28, 2014 May 19, 2014
June 30, 2014 July 21, 2014
August 25, 2014 September 15, 2014


The MHP Loan and Grant Committee meets the third Monday of every other month to review applications.  Applications must be received a minimum of three weeks prior to a meeting in order to be considered for funding.

*These dates are tentative and may change without notice.









Planning for Economic Growth:

SCEF funds allowed Roseau County to undertake a city-wide Housing Study. The two major employers in Roseau County, Polaris and Marvin Windows and Doors, are impacted by insufficient affordable housing stock. Those moving to the region for jobs often must leave their families and live in motels for months before they can find housing. The completion of a housing market study was the first step in a broader planning process intended to make sure that housing is affordable and well-located near jobs.

In February 2013, Governor Dayton and Commissioners attended a housing roundtable in Roseau to discuss the housing shortage and its impact on economic growth.

 Dayton Visit to Roseau

Collaborating for Successful Development

In Grand Marais, housing leaders struggled to develop affordable housing due to high property costs.  The SCEF award allowed Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency to address affordable housing needs in the area through community engagement. By working with city & county staff, elected officials, potential funders, and services providers, AEOA is now exploring sites to develop a 20 unit affordable housing rental complex serving low/moderate individuals and families.

Casual Meeting

Connecting Residents to Housing Resources

In rural Southwest Minnesota it was difficult to connect residents to housing resources. Participating in MHP's Housing Institute, the Lincoln County team created a comprehensive website: a one-stop shop for county-wide housing information. The team was awarded a SCEF grant to help cover the cost of a graphic designer, transforming their housing knowledge into a user-friendly website.

Now individuals seeking rental housing, selling a home, or trying to locate housing repair and assistance programs can easily obtain the resources they need. The websited ecreased staff time spent redirecting residents to services, freeing up time to focus on other collaborative projects.

at home lincoln co