Advancing plans to grow single room occupancy housing

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housing and development


December 7, 2021

County advancing plans to grow single room occupancy housing

Board adopts SRO taskforce report

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners recently adopted the Single Room Occupancy Taskforce Report, which lays the groundwork for an aggressive strategy to fill a critical gap in our current affordable housing infrastructure.

Housing spectrum graphic

There is currently a severe shortage of housing options affordable to people with the lowest incomes and people experiencing homelessness who can afford modest rents.

Growing SRO housing presents an opportunity to significantly increase the availability of housing for these households, creating a pathway out of homelessness and into long-term stable housing.

The report explores options and best practices to guide decisions on expanding SRO housing in Hennepin County, including construction and design, operation and management, finance, zoning, and more.

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Funding for future SRO projects

Both Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis have allocated funding to develop additional SRO housing through acquisition, conversion, and/or new construction.

Hennepin County allocated a total of $46 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to equitable housing recovery activities, including an estimated $8 million for SRO development.

The City of Minneapolis also allocated $5 million in ARPA funding for a Low Barrier Single Room Occupancy Pilot. The city recently approved an ordinance to allow for additional SRO housing options.

The county and city are working closely together to coordinate SRO investments with the goal of advancing multiple projects throughout 2022, including properties purchased by Hennepin County in 2020 as part of the county's pandemic response.

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Request for Proposals for SRO operators coming early 2022

Hennepin County is preparing to release a Request for Proposals to identify interested and qualified entities to operate new SRO housing projects.

Additional RFPs are also expected for SRO development projects later in 2022.

Get ready to respond to this and other upcoming housing RFPs by making sure you are registered in the Hennepin County Supplier Portal.

Steven's Square Residence shows promise of SRO housing

Three picture collage showing outside of Stevens Square Residence and examples of indoor rooms


Hennepin County purchased Steven's Square Residence, a former treatment facility, in November 2020 and made updates to the property. It was then leased to Alliance Housing to operate as SRO housing for people with very low incomes that could afford modest rent. People who had been staying in the county's pandemic protective shelters began moving in about one month later. 

The building has 31 sleeping rooms, and shared bathroom and shower facilities on each floor. Renters also share a large kitchen and laundry facilities. Each renter has an individual month-to-month lease and pays less than $400 per month.

The county pays for some capital costs, but the property is otherwise financially supported by the modest rents.

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Contact us

Julia Welle Ayres
Hennepin County
Director of Housing Development and Finance

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