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Supportive housing strategy

Hennepin County’s Supportive Housing Strategy offers capital funding and technical assistance to develop long-term affordable supportive housing projects.

Supportive housing serves some of Hennepin County’s most vulnerable residents, including those with a combination of extremely low-incomes and other conditions or challenges to stable housing.

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Serving our priority population

The Supportive Housing Strategy serves a priority population of especially vulnerable Hennepin County residents for whom housing instability leads to the worst health and safety concerns. This population typically has a combination of extremely low incomes (less than 30% of area median income or roughly $30,000 for a four-person household), and:

  • Need for significant assistance to live independently
  • A disabling condition increasing health and safety risks if unhoused
  • No other access to existing support services

These households are most at risk of experiencing homelessness and are most likely to require ongoing support or services to live independently.

Priority population groups

The priority population targeted for the Supportive Housing Strategy includes an estimated 3,100 households.

The priority population includes the following target groups:

  • People experiencing homelessness for at least a year — or for a total of 12 months over 3 years — while struggling with a disability (“chronic homelessness)
  • People with severe addictions who frequently use withdrawal management services
  • People with developmental disabilities and either:
    • Co-occurring mental illnesses or substance use disorders, or
    • Needing to move from group settings to more independent living to make room for those needing more intensive care
  • People leaving mental health treatment
  • People with complex medical conditions experiencing homelessness
  • People with a disability and a level 3 predatory offense
  • Youth with neuro-diverse conditions (such as autism spectrum disorders, brain injuries, or fetal alcohol syndrome)
  • Youth experiencing sexual exploitation
  • Unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness
  • Youth in and leaving extended foster care
  • Families with disabilities who are involved with child protection services

Each year, the Supportive Housing Strategy will focus on different priority population groups.

Recent and upcoming priority population groups include:

  • 2019 – People experiencing chronic homelessness
  • 2020 – People with severe addictions or experiencing homelessness
  • 2021 – Families involved with child protection services and people leaving mental health treatment
  • 2022 – Youth with neuro-diverse conditions; youth experiencing sexual exploitation; unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness; youth in and leaving extended foster care

A new funding strategy

In 2019, Hennepin County initiated a funding strategy designed to encourage development of deeply affordable long-term supportive housing by strategically investing additional capital, operating, and service funding.

To maximize the impact of this funding, we will:

  • Work with target populations to better understand their unique housing needs
  • Partner with supportive housing developers and providers early in the project development process
  • Increase focus and flexibility in how we invest

Funds for supportive housing projects are disbursed as they are available through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process through the Hennepin County supplier portal.

Register in the supplier portal to receive automated RFP notices and submit proposals.

2022 request for proposals

As part of its supportive housing strategy, Hennepin County will seek proposals for supportive housing development projects that serve four specific target populations in January 2022:

  • Youth with neuro-diverse conditions (such as autism spectrum disorders, brain injuries, or fetal alcohol syndrome)
  • Youth experiencing sexual exploitation
  • Unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness
  • Youth in and leaving extended foster care

A Request for Proposals for these projects will be posted in January 2022. Up to $5 million in capital funds will be available.

Access the RFP and apply through the Hennepin County Supplier Portal.

Tips for applying

The Supportive Housing Program is designed to make funds available to projects earlier in the process than traditional housing finance programs, including projects still in the conceptual phase.

To prepare for current and future requests for proposals:

  • Reach out to Hennepin County staff early to discuss project ideas.
  • Build partnerships between developers/operators and service providers.
  • Register in the supplier portal and signup for our housing and development newsletter to receive funding announcements.

Through the supportive housing strategy, Hennepin County could support development of 1,000 new supportive housing units over 10 years.

To date, we have awarded $11 million to fund seven supportive housing projects with a combined 274 units of supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness and people with severe addictions, people exiting mental health treatment, and families involved in child protection services.

Progress chart showing invest and units built over time

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