May 14, 2021 Newsletter

chris latondresse


  May 13, 2021

Dear friends and neighbors,

This week the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), which I Chair, unanimously approved a historic $17.1 million in new investments for affordable housing. This is not only the largest amount we’ve ever awarded at once to support affordable housing, it offers new focus and urgency on how our County is confronting this crisis.

For District 6 this action brings $2.85 million in new investments to five different projects that will create at least 416 affordable housing units in Edina, Minnetonka and Hopkins.

Our community is facing intersecting crises in housing, homelessness, income, public health and public safety. These crises affect all of us, and disproportionately harms communities of color. Now is the time for government to step up and take bold, innovative action to meet these challenges. That is what we’ve done with this week’s round of new investments.

Updates in this week's newsletter:

🏢 Apply now: Business District Initiative, Corridor Planning: Municipalities in Hennepin County can submit proposals for funding through the Business District Initiative and Corridor Planning programs now through Tuesday, June 8.

💉 Hennepin County partners with over 29 organizations on vaccine events: Vaccination partnerships are flexible and Hennepin County will work with the community organization to determine the best approach.

💵 RentHelpMN COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance is now Open for Applications

🌉 Vernon Avenue Bridge replacement and intersections improvements: Visit the virtual open house to view proposed designs and provide feedback.

In service,


🏡 Record $17.1 Million Approved for Affordable Housing Projects

Housing graphic


Earlier this week Hennepin County approved a record $17.1 million to support 27 affordable housing development projects that create or maintain 2,270 units of housing including 1,550 affordable units.

Here is what that means for District 6 projects:


Vista 44 Housing Project Rendering

Vista 44 in Hopkins received $1,7000,000 in supportive housing funds and an additional $250,000 in Transit Oriented Development (TOD) funding. This will create 50 family supportive housing units at 30% AMI with on-site services.


The Shady Oak site in Minnetonka received $250,000 in TOD funds for two multifamily buildings with up to 323 units of affordable housing. These funds will be used for demolition, public space, sidewalks/trails, public bike infrastructure, and stormwater management.

Shady Oak Affordable Housing Rendering
Cornelia Affordable Housing Project Rendering

Cornelia View Apartments in Edina received $665,000 in Affordable Housing Incentive Funds (AHIF). This project creates 118 affordable senior rental units with 41 units at or under 50% AMI.


$60,000 in AHIF funding will go to the Minnetonka New Construction Homeownership project to create 2 units for land trust affordable homeownership at 50%-80% AMI.



Lastly, we approved $175,000 for 10 units of affordable homeownership, from 50%-80% AMI, across Districts, 1, 5, 6, and 7 through the West Hennepin Affordable Housing Land Trust.


Additionally, to advance Hennepin County’s strategy to grow housing options affordable to households at the lowest income levels, the HRA is piloting two new tactics. For the first time ever, the county is offering a 15-year annual subsidy for CommonBond’s Rise on 7 project to reduce rents from 60% AMI to 30% AMI for 19 units. The county is also piloting a new pre-development technical assistance strategy to work closely with developers and service providers early and throughout the planning and development process to build a pipeline of supportive housing projects that serve target populations.

🏢 Apply now: Business District Initiative, Corridor Planning

Municipalities in Hennepin County can submit proposals for funding through the Business District Initiative and Corridor Planning programs now through Tuesday, June 8.

Up to $200,000 total is available for:

  • Suburban business district improvement strategies
  • Land use and development planning projects

Business District Initiative

Eligible applicants include suburban cities and development authorities, with awards up to $50,000.

View 2021 program guidelines 

Learn more about Business District Initiative

Corridor Planning

Eligible applicants include cities, parks, watershed districts, or development, housing and port authorities, with awards up to $50,000.

View 2021 program guidelines here and learn more about Corridor Planning here.

Access the RFPs and apply

  • Visit the Supplier Portal
  • You can view the separate RFPs and materials by clicking the specific RFP you wish to view in the "Events" panel on the right half of the screen
  • To apply, follow the on-screen instructions
  • You will need to be registered in the Supplier Portal to submit an application.

For detailed instructions on how to register and submit an application visit the Supplier Portal information page.

💉 Hennepin County partners with over 29 organizations on vaccine events

Hennepin County is partnering with community organizations to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Since March, the county has partnered with over 29 organizations to host more than 17 community vaccination events, administering thousands of doses of the vaccine.

Hennepin County is committed to meeting the needs of community organizations and the populations they serve. Vaccination partnerships are flexible and Hennepin County will work with the community organization to determine the best approach.

For example, community organizations can provide space/location and outreach and Hennepin County will conduct the clinic. Hennepin County staff can also help community organizations get vaccinations at one of its existing semi-permanent vaccine clinics or it can redistribute vaccines to Minnesota Department of Health registered community organizations so they can conduct their own vaccine clinics.


Request a community vaccine event

Organizations can request a community vaccination event by filling out this online survey.

For questions or to learn more about Hennepin County’s community vaccination partnerships email  


Other opportunities to get the vaccine

Hennepin County is also offering immediate vaccine appointments and walk-ins at its semi-permanent vaccine clinics at the Earle Brown Heritage Center and Robbinsdale Middle School. Register for a vaccine appointment at one of these sites at

The vaccine is free and you do not need health insurance. You will not be asked about your legal status.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or need help registering for a vaccine appointment, call 612-348-8900. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.

More information about Hennepin County’s COVID-19 response is available at


💵 RentHelpMN COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Now Open for Applications

Rent Help MN Graphic


Minnesota Housing's RentHelpMN is now open and accepting applications. RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note that RentHelpMN is in Phase One, in which people with past due rent who meet eligibility requirements are invited to apply.

To apply for RentHelpMN, please visit or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about RentHelpMN, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Visit to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.

Sign up for email updates about RentHelpMN. Please note: the eNews sign-up link doesn't work in Internet Explorer. Please use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox.

Information Sessions

Minnesota Housing hosted two information sessions about the program in March 2021, reviewing who is eligible and what expenses will be covered.

📰 News

Record $17.1M approved in Hennepin County for affordable housing projects

Housing graphic

Photo credit: KSTP-TV

On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved $17.1 million to support 27 affordable housing and development projects, the largest amount of funding ever awarded by the board at once to support affordable housing.

Access the full story, here.

Hennepin County’s new Climate Action Plan highlighted during Edina park visit

Commissioner LaTondresse speaking at Arden Park in Edina

Photo by Caitlin Anderson, Sun Current

The Arden Park restoration project, which began in 2017, is not directly related to, or a part of, the county’s Climate Action Plan. But LaTondresse said Arden Park represents “not only best practice when it comes to thinking about our future investments, but really next practice.” This encompasses the park’s stormwater swales, stream re-meander and other work that was done to maintain the native habitat there, he said.

The pandemic has shown the importance of improving parks for both well-being and stormwater management, Hovland said at the event.

Access the full story, here.

🌉 Vernon Avenue Bridge replacement and intersections improvements

Vernon Bridge timeline graphic


County Road 158 in Edina

Hennepin County, in coordination with Minnesota Department of Transportation and City of Edina, is planning to replace the Vernon Avenue Bridge (County Road 158) over the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railroad, improve the intersection at Interlachen Boulevard, and realign the Highway 100 off-ramp in Edina.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2023.


Visit the virtual open house to view proposed designs and provide feedback

Check it out: Vernon Avenue Bridge replacement and intersections improvements open house

We launched our virtual open house so you can see the proposed designs and share back your thoughts with the project team.  

When you access the site, you will learn more about how the existing bridge and connecting roadways pose safety, connectivity and delay issues. And, you will see how our initial proposed design and improvements will: 

  • Allow for safer turning and merging at intersections for people driving 
  • Make the bridge and intersection safer and more inviting for people walking, biking and rolling 
  • Update the look of the bridge that complement existing designs along Vernon Avenue 

You will also learn more about the design process.

You can view the virtual open house anytime through the end of June. When you do, make sure you share your feedback using an online submission form at the end of the open house.  

About District 6

District 6 map

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, north Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring ParkTonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

County information

Chris LaTondresse
6th District

Jessica Oaxaca
District Director

Kyle Olson
Policy Director

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