Safe and supported

Affordable housing in Hennepin County

Safe and supported: Affordable housing in Hennepin County

Hennepin County is pursuing a new affordable housing funding strategy to help house people for whom housing instability leads to the worst health and safety concerns.

A safe and affordable place to live is the foundation on which people build successful lives and contribute to their communities. But this basic need is becoming increasingly difficult for many Hennepin households to meet as housing disparities increase.

Burden of housing costs

30% of all households pay more than 30% of their income toward housing, putting them at risk of being unable to afford to meet other basic needs.

Lack of affordable housing harms low-income households most

People of color disproportionally impacted

African Americans are almost four times as likely as whites to have incomes below 30% AMI, American Indians are close behind that; Latino and other non-whites are also disproportionately impacted by a lack of housing affordability.

Hennepin County housing actions

Hennepin County is one of several major agencies working to address affordable housing needs in the Twin Cities region.

Hennepin County and the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority guide investment of more than $130 million annually towards safe, stable housing for residents.

Each year, Hennepin County:

  • Creates or preserve 975 units of affordable housing
  • Assists 7,500+ households experiencing or at risk for homelessness
  • Helps 636 households afford housing through rent subsidies
  • Shelters 9,000 people experiencing homelessness

A new funding strategy

Despite these efforts, housing affordability remains a major challenge for the Twin Cities region.

In May 2019, Hennepin County approved new housing guidelines and criteria for funding affordable supportive housing projects.

Supportive housing is a type of housing that combines onsite social services for those who require ongoing support to live independently.

Benefits of supportive housing

  • Increased life outcomes
  • Increased livability and stability of neighborhoods
  • Decreased strain on public systems 

Filling a critical gap in affordable housing

The goal is to develop up to 1,000 new units of long-term supportive housing by 2030. Hennepin County will do this by:

  • Identifying a county business case for needed supportive housing
  • Partnering with supportive housing developers and providers
  • Providing early-in funding for projects that meet county objectives

Priority population of county residents

Efforts will target a priority population of residents with extremely low incomes and a combination of:

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

Funding for this and other affordable housing strategies is considered each year by the county as part of the regular budgeting process.

Learn more about Hennepin County at