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Deeply Affordable Housing Infrastructure Initiative
Communities across Ramsey County have identified the need for deeply affordable housing. 15,000 units affordable to residents making less than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) are needed throughout the county according to the Economic Competitiveness & Inclusion Plan (ECIP).
In August 2021, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved $37 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for deeply affordable housing. The funding will expand the supply of units affordable to residents making less than 30% AMI through new construction and preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing.
Planning and engagement
To better understand how to invest $37 million into deeply affordable housing, Ramsey County partnered with the City of Saint Paul to learn from existing planning efforts and engage with service providers who directly serve residents facing housing instability. Engagement with Heading Home Ramsey, homeless shelter providers, outreach teams, law enforcement and other social service agencies occurred in Fall 2021. Lessons learned from the engagement have been embedded into our solicitation process for housing developments for the purpose of targeting units that are most needed across the housing continuum.
Ramsey County continues to partner with local cities, the State of Minnesota and the federal government to leverage additional dollars. The City of Saint Paul has dedicated $37.5 million of ARPA funds for deeply affordable housing expansion. This collaboration will infuse more than $74 million of federal funding into the communities of Ramsey County which will be loaned to non-profit and private developers.
Neighborhoods, cities, service providers and government agencies have a long history of working towards the preservation and construction of deeply affordable housing. The need is well documented in local comprehensive plans, small area plans, housing stability planning efforts and in Ramsey County’s ECIP.