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Housing and Redevelopment Authority approves housing resolutions

The resolutions include a down payment assistance program, a Rent Supplement Pilot and annual distribution of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
We sat down one-on-one with Melvin Carter on the day of his inauguration as St. Paul's mayor. (Photo: KARE 11)

ST PAUL, Minn. — The St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved three resolutions addressing housing needs on Wednesday for 2020.

The resolutions include new program guidelines for a down payment assistance program, a Rent Supplement Pilot and annual distribution of Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

“Ensuring all of us can access safe, stable and affordable housing is vital to the future of our city,” said Mayor Melvin Carter in a press release. “These new programs expand our toolbox and help us keep this promise for everyone in our community.”

According to the release, the down payment assistance program, which is anticipated to start in the spring of 2020, provides home ownership to applicants at or below 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI). Loans up to $40,000 will be offered for down payment and 0 percent closing costs with a 30-year deferred term.

The Rent Supplement Pilot is slated for early 2020 and will give St. Paul families a $300 rent supplement and continual supportive services for three years, in partnership with the St. Paul Public Schools. The pilot will be for household incomes at 30 percent AMI or below. Households that pay 40 percent or more of their income for rent, are not receiving another housing subsidy and have at least one Pre-K to third-grade student enrolled in a participating school.

According to the release, the two programs will be funded by the Housing Trust Fund. Additional funding has also been provided by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

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“These programs highlight the creative thinking and use of the Housing Trust Fund as a valuable financial tool to help address our affordable housing crisis,” said Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Chair Chris Tolbert.

More than $1 million in credits has been recommended for the Low Income Housing Tax Credits and will be reserved or allocated over two years for the development of 79 affordable units. The program  will offer a reduction in federal tax liability to owners and investors in low income housing developments that comply with rent and tenant income restrictions for 30 years, the release said. 

“There is no single strategy or program that can solve our housing crisis,” said Housing Director Kayla Schuchman. “Our team is dedicated to creative, collaborative and thoughtful approaches that deepen and widen our investments across Saint Paul.”