COVID-19 Resources

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund is committed to ongoing collaboration and problem solving with our partner affordable housing organizations across the State of Minnesota.

Information and resources are available for Owner/Operators, Property Managers, GMHF Borrowers, Households (Renter or Homeowners), and Child Care Providers through dozens of support agencies. Access information on Financial Resources, Federal Announcements, Emergency Financial Assistance, Unemployment Insurance, Support for Child Care Providers, Utilities and Food.

Covid-19 Community of Practice Webinars

Join our COVID-19 Webinars to hear updates from our partners, including government entities, nonprofit and for-profit developers, supportive housing operators, and other stakeholders. As we host ongoing Knowledge Sharing Webinars, please share your information about challenges faced, potential solutions, and best practices from our partners.

Owner/Operator Resources

Resources are available for affordable housing developers and operators to manage their businesses as well as in supporting tenants to find support.

Update: COVID 19 Housing Assistance Program is Now OPEN

Governor Walz announced that up to $100 million of funding will be allocated from the state’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to create a new housing assistance program to help renters that have fallen behind on rent and/or utilities due to COVID-19. Information for tenants is under household resources.

Financial Resources

1. New state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Different programs make sense for different businesses. Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) provides updated guidance and resources to help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation. The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program provides capital to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

2. The Midwest Minnesota CDC, (MMCDC) assists businesses in accessing small business loans up to $50,000 for needs related to the pandemic.

3. GMHF Borrowers: If you are a developer and currently hold a loan with GMHF, including single-family, multi-family construction, gap, or mortgages, and believe you will experience an inability to pay or hardship in payment, please contact our lending staff.

Property Management

The Leading Age Covid-19 Resource Page includes guidance on property management, including:

  1. Guidance for Senior Building & Resident Community Spaces
  2. Communication Guidance (public, tenants, staff) when someone may/confirmed to have Coronavirus in building
  3. Best Practices for cleaning community spaces
Maintaining Business Continuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Enterprise Community Partners has shared this video for Affordable Housing Developers on continuing business during the COVID-19 period.

 

Federal and State Resources

Minnesota NAHRO, HUD and The Department of Health provides up to date information to support public housing authorities and public redevelopment authorities.

  1. NAHRO COVID-19 Resources for Housing Authorities
  2. Minnesota Department of Health COVID Homepage 
  3. HUD Coronavirus Page 

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery (CARES) Act includes $349 billion in forgivable loans for nonprofits and small businesses. The main purpose is to help organizations keep their employees on the payroll between now and the end of June 2020. Access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The application window opened on Friday, April 3, 2020.

The Center for Disease Control’s Guidance for Rural Communities and Stakeholders is also available, dated April 8, 2020. 

 

Guidance on Homelessness

US Interagency Council on Homelessness publishes resources for addressing impact on homeless populations.

Resources for Households Impacted by COVID-19

COVID 19 Housing Assistance Program is Now OPEN

Governor Walz announced that up to $100 million of funding will be allocated from the state’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to create a new housing assistance program to help renters that have fallen behind on rent and/or utilities due to COVID-19.

The application is now OPEN.

To see if you qualify for COVID-19 Housing Assistance, begin by filling out the pre-application:

  • Go to this website.
  • On the right side of the page, click “Apply” next to MN COVID Housing Assistance Program.

You can also access the application by texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211 or calling 800.543-7709.

Who is eligible to apply for assistance?
Individuals and households must meet all of these criteria:
1. Minnesota resident.
2. Income at or below 300% of federal poverty guidelines, with a preference for those at or below 200%. To see if an income qualifies, click here.
3. Have an eligible expense that was incurred after March 1, 2020 that is past due. Housing assistance funds can only be used for eligible expenses incurred between March 1 an December 30th, 2020.
4. Unable to make the payment(s) owed because of the public health emergency. For example: unemployment, illness, or another COVID-19 related issue.
5. What expenses are eligible? Rent payments. Utility payments. Additional housing related costs approved by Minnesota Housing.
6. How are payments made? Funds are paid directly to the landlord. For utlities, funds are paid directly to the utility company.

 

 

Homeowners

If you are a homeowner worried about your ability to pay your mortgage, reach out to your loan servicer as soon as possible, ask for the loss mitigation department, and discuss your options. You can find the number to call on your mortgage bill.

Several federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage owners Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have recently announced a temporary moratorium on foreclosures during the crisis to help people stay in their homes.

A network of nonprofit Homeownership Advisors offers nonbiased advice to homeowners in Minnesota to help them keep their homes. Find a Homeownership Advisor offering services in your area.

Emergency Financial Assistance

If you need help paying for rent, food, or childcare, apply online for emergency and cash assistance, food benefits (SNAP), and child care assistance: https://applymn.dhs.mn.gov/

You can also call the county where you live. Phone lines and language accessibility vary across counties.

  • Hennepin County: 612-596-1300
  • Ramsey County: 651-266-4884
  • Dakota County: 651-554-5611
  • Anoka County: 763-422-7200
  • Washington County: 651-430-6459
  • Scott County: 952-496-8686
  • Carver County: 952-361-1600

Unemployment Insurance

Individuals experiencing unemployment can apply for unemployment insurance from the State of Minnesota. Impacted workers can apply immediately.

Legal Help

For legal help, call HOME Line’s tenant hotline: 612-728-5767. For more information on the executive order to halt evictions, general advice on what to do if you cannot pay rent, and a sample letter to your landlord, visit HOME Line’s website.

Utilities

  1. Xcel Energy announced it will indefinitely suspend service disconnections and waive late fees when associated with COVID-19 challenges. Call 1-800-895-4999 for more information. CenterPoint Energy is doing the same for gas. Call 1-800-245-2377. USI Wirelessis providing free internet access throughout the City of Minneapolis. Comcast has also expanded access to internet, waiving late fees, and providing free hot spots.
  2. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are halting water shut-offs. Your city tap water should be uncontaminated and safe to drink from the tap.
  3. The MMAHEN Minnesota Affordable Housing Energy Network provides links to Energy Assistance Programs.

Food

Child Care Providers

Minnesota Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants

Grants starting at $4,500 per month will be awarded to licensed child care providers serving essential workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Licensed family and group family programs, licensed child care centers, and Tribal licensed child care programs are eligible to apply. Grant recipients will receive their funding on a month-to-month basis during the pandemic.

Northland Foundation Emergency Child Care Grant Program

Northland Foundation created the Emergency Child Care Grant Program to offer immediate financial support to child care providers caring for children whose parents/guardians are designated as emergency personnel and other essential workers.

  • Licensed family child care is eligible for $1,000 grants.
  • Licensed center-based care is eligible for $3,000 grants.

Providers must be located within one of the following counties or Tribal Nations: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis County, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe-District 1, or Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe-District 2.

Northland Foundation intends to provide a response and funding within two weeks of applications being received. Funding will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis to qualifying applicants for as long as grant dollars are available. Click here for a direct link to the simple online application.

Photo Credits

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Colorful banner image featuring the skyline that you might typically see in a small city or town in Greater Minnesota.

Contact

Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
332 Minnesota Street
Suite 1650 West*
Saint Paul, MN 55101
*NOTE NEW SUITE # AS OF 1/14/19

Main 651.221.1997
800.277.2258
Fax 651.221.1904
info@gmhf.com

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