Housing Information and Resources
Are you looking for housing but unsure of what steps to take? Read on to learn how to access housing resources and determine what housing type is the best fit for you.
Information and Referrals:
• Front Door: 612-328-4111
• United Way First Call for Help: 651-291-0211
• Financial Aid/Economic Assistance:
• Opportunity Centers
Youth: 612-252-1200, 41 North 12th Street, Minneapolis
Adult: 612-204-8300, 740 East 17th Street, Minneapolis
• Psychiatric Emergencies (COPE): 612-596-1223
• Minnesota Legal Aid: 612-334-5970
• Housing Legal Advocacy (HomeLine): 612-728-5767
To Access Emergency Shelter:
• Metro Shelter Hotline: 1-888-234-1329
• Singles (Adult Shelter Connect): 612-248-2350
• Families (Hennepin County Shelter Team): 612-348-9410
• Battered Women’s Hotline: 651-646-0994
- South Minneapolis (Hope Street): 612-204-8211
- North Minneapolis (Avenues): 612-522-1690
- Northwest Suburbs (YMCA): 763-493-3052
- South Suburbs (Oasis for Youth): 952-512-2061
• Families or Singles
- Minneapolis (St. Stephens): 612-871-0311
- South Minneapolis (Sabathani): 612-821-2399
- Northwest Suburbs (CEAP): 763-566-9600
- West Suburbs (PRISM): 763-529-1350
- South Suburbs (VEAP): 952-888-9616
There are two types of subsidized housing; Tenant-Based (vouchers) & Project-Based (income-based buildings).
• Tenant-Based Subsidies:
There are many types of tenant-based voucher programs that have varying eligibility requirements (Section 8, Shelter + Care, Bridges, VASH), with Section 8 being the most common, and often the term used to describe subsidies in general. Section 8 is a government-funded program that assists low-income households in paying their rent on private, market-rate rental units. The rent amount a tenant is responsible for will be 30% to 40% of the household’s adjusted gross income. The assigned Housing Authority will then pay the remaining portion of rent directly to the property. If a tenant moves, the voucher stays with them and can be utilized at a new property.
Waiting-lists for vouchers are often long or closed, but are free to apply for when available. To qualify for a Section 8 voucher, you must fall within Minnesota’s income limits. For a list of which Housing Authorities currently have open waiting-lists, information on landlords who accept vouchers, as well as area income limits, visit Housinglink.org
• Project-Based Subsidies:
In this type of subsidy, rental assistance is tied to the building, rather than being attached to the tenant. Project-based buildings can be publicly owned by HUD or privately owned by an owner with a contract with HUD. If a tenant moves out of a project-based unit, the subsidy does not go with them. Often times, rental cost is 30% of the household adjusted gross income. There may be a variety of housing types available through this program including single-family homes, townhomes, or apartments.
Interested applicants must apply to each individual property that participates in the program, with some properties having tenant requirements such as a minimum age or disability. Waiting-lists for these properties vary in length but are frequently free to apply to. Once you are selected from a waiting list, you may be invited to tour the property and offered a unit; however, there may be a limited number of available units to choose from.
Individuals can search for these units via Housinglink.org. Simply enter your county of preference and check “Subsidized housing” in the search filter, to view which project-based Section 8 and public housing units have open wait-lists. Ask the property manager what their screening criteria is for applicants, and if there are any policies that automatically disqualify prospective renters.
Other project-based programs operate in a similar manner, including: Section 202, Section 236, Section 515 for rural areas, and Section 811.
Finding the right type of housing depends on an individual’s income, needs, and preferences. Visit mn.hb101.org/nav/programs to navigate the many different options and compare various housing types.
A brief description of common housing types:
• Board and Lodge: Settings with a license from the Department of Health that provide meals, lodging, and basic accommodations. Settings vary widely, including Intensive Residential Treatment, emergency shelters, and transitional housing.
• Adult Foster Care: Settings for 4-5 people with disabilities that provides food, lodging, supervision, individualized services, and protection. Services are often waiver-funded.
• Assisted Living / Customized Living: Settings providing up to 24 hour, long term customized supportive services and meals in site-based settings. Services are often waiver-funded.
• Permanent Supportive Housing: model of housing that is affordable and offers voluntary housing stability services to people with disabilities experiencing long-term homelessness.
• Transitional Housing: Medium-term (up to 24 months) affordable housing and services for people experiencing homelessness.
• Rapid Rehousing: Short- to medium-term (up to 24 months, most often 3-6 months) housing access services, rental subsidy, and case management for people experiencing homelessness.
When you are seeking housing assistance and actually calling or meeting with potential landlords and housing providers, it’s a good idea to ask the right questions to get maximum information and increase your chances of receiving the housing arrangement that’s right for you. We encourage you to follow this process:
• Write down the address and description of the building.
• Ask if there are any openings for your desired bedroom size and if not, when they may be available.
• If there are no current openings, ask when you should call/inquire about openings again.
• Ask about their selection criteria for new tenants.
• Ask if you work with people who have marks on their background check (if applicable).
• Ask if rental subsidies are accepted (if applicable).
• Ask how much the application fee is.
• Ask if a security deposit is required and if so, how much.
• Ask which utilities, if any, are included in rent.
• Ask if pets are allowed, and if there is a separate security deposit for pets (if applicable).