Multifamily Housing Solicitation

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The current pandemic and resulting economic crisis have devastated the health and economic wellbeing of millions of Americans. In response to this crisis, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 on January 3, 2021. Within the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by ARPA, Ramsey County received an allocation of funds. On Aug. 17, 2021, the board of commissioners approved and established a $20,000,000 Affordable Housing Investment Fund for 2021-2025 through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to increase housing infrastructure in accordance with federal requirements.

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Ramsey County is accepting applications for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund to fund eligible developments located within the boundaries of Ramsey County.

Goal

Make Ramsey County’s ARPA funding available through a competitive solicitation for developers to leverage other funding sources and facilitate the closing of projects in a competitive real estate market. A local funding commitment allows projects to close funding gaps and demonstrate financial readiness. 

Eligible projects

  • Acquisition, Preservation and Rehabilitation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) projects closing no later than the first quarter of 2022 (countywide), or, 
  • Projects in Suburban Ramsey County applying for tax-exempt bonds through Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) in January 2022 
    • Ramsey County funding is contingent on securing commitment from MMB and other lenders.

Selection priorities include the following:

Project feasibility

Projects must demonstrate and satisfy the following feasibility requirements in their application:

  • Whether the proposed project meets the applicable ARPA funding requirements, regulations and guidance.
  • Whether the proposed site is appropriate for the proposed housing and the target population.
  • Whether the proposed housing is needed in the intended market based upon population, job growth, and very low housing vacancy rates. This includes the need for supportive housing units.
  • Whether the costs of developing the housing are reasonable and/or justifiable.
  • Whether the applicant has demonstrated cost effectiveness for all stages and aspects of the development without compromising overall development quality.
  • Whether the housing is economically viable.
  • For permanent supportive housing, whether the service model, staffing, and secured funding are adequate to address the needs of the population to be served

​Financial and Organizational Capacity

In addition to demonstrating financial readiness, projects must demonstrate and satisfy the following capacity requirements in their application:

  • The applicant’s related housing experience
  • Whether the applicant has successfully completed similar projects or is partnering with other organizations that have successfully completed similar projects
  • Whether the applicant has strong current and expected ongoing capacity to complete the proposed housing, as well as other proposals being developed by the organization
  • Whether the applicant has the capacity to maintain the rental housing long-term

​Affordability requirements

At least 10% of units must be affordable to people and/or households earning 30% of Area Median Income (AMI) or below and Applicant must demonstrate substantial long-term affordability.

Specific Funding Requirements

Some or all of the payments under any resulting contracts, or executed agreements will be made from federal funds obtained by the county through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2 and amendments thereto), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No. 21.207 and Federal Award Identification Number SLFRP0236 (“American Rescue Plan”, “ARPA”). Therefore, successful Responder(s)  agree to comply with the American Rescue Plan Act, as amended, as well as the rules of any regulatory body under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Solicitation requirements

Responses must demonstrate the following:

  • How the project will incorporate county ARPA funding into a financing pro forma;
  • How the project will conform to ARPA requirements for increasing the supply of affordable and high-quality living units; and
  • How the project will comply with ARPA geographic eligibility (location in a qualified census tract) or benefit locally-defined populations or geographic areas where the pandemic resulted in disproportionate public health or economic outcomes for the specific populations, households, or geographic areas to be served.

Resulting documents to be executed

Any resulting contracts, grants or closing documents necessary for funding the proposed project will include all applicable requirements for ARPA.

Underwriting guidelines

Responses must demonstrate the following:

  • That the costs are allowable under ARPA funding requirements;
  • That project costs are reasonable;
  • Other sources of project financing commitment, including amounts and terms, and in what amounts;
  • To the extent required, that the county’s ARPA funds are not substituted for non-Federal financial support
  • That the project is financially feasible;
  • To the extent practicable, that the return on the owner’s equity investment will not be unreasonably high; and  
  • To the extent practicable, that county ARPA funds are disbursed on a pro rate basis with other finances provided to the project.

Proposed solicitation process and timeline

Scroll table right to see more
Solicitation process Start date End date
Solicitation open Nov. 5, 2021 Nov. 15, 2021 at 4 p.m.
Solicitation review Nov. 16, 2021 Nov. 18, 2021
Recommended award letter Nov. 19, 2021
Board approval Dec. 21, 2021
Closing Dec. 22, 2021

Future solicitations

Ramsey County will publish a “Consolidated RFP” in February 2022 for a wider range of eligible projects and funding sources.