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ST. PAUL-The Metropolitan Council recently awarded nearly $1 million to support affordable housing initiatives in seven communities in the Twin Cities area. The communities are receiving the money to promote housing choice and affordability, efficient and cost-effective development and to clean up of polluted land for redevelopment. All participate in the council’s Livable Communities program. They include Inver Grove Heights, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Oakdale, St. Paul, Stillwater and Woodbury.

The grants are reviewed and recommended in a collaborative process with other funding agencies, namely the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and Family Housing Fund.

The largest Metro Council grants for affordable housing went to:

* University and Dale Apartments, St. Paul–$200,000 to help finance development of 103 rental housing units as part of a new mixed-use, mixed-income apartment complex at the southwest corner of University Avenue and Dale Street. The first floor of the building will house the new, relocated Lexington Branch of the St. Paul Public Library. The second floor will be the residential parking ramp and three through six will be rental housing.

* Woodbury Community Land Trust, Woodbury–$200,000 to help develop 36 affordable townhomes for ownership in two major residential developments in the city. Both developments will be in close proximity to employment, commercial, and recreational opportunities in the city, as well as interstate highways. The land trust will own the land and homeowners will own the structures.

* Lafayette Family Townhomes, Inver Grove Heights–$195,900 to help fund development of a new 30-unit townhome proposal by the Dakota County Community Development Agency at 50th Street E. in Inver Grove Heights.

The council’s award of $938,900 is part of nearly $5.5 million recommended for public investment in housing in the metro area so far this year, with the Family Housing Fund contributing $1.3 million and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency contributing $3.2 million.

Together, the funds will help develop 254 new rental units and rehabilitate or improve 104 more. Of those, 183 will be affordable to very low-income households. In addition, the funding will help develop 156 homes for ownership. Of those, 116 will be new construction. As many as 40 will be rehabilitated or improved for resale.

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