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Greater Minnesota Housing Fund’s NOAH Fund

This new investment fund pilots an economic model that captures existing housing, keeping it affordable. This is essential as moderate and low-income renters struggle to find livable housing in the thriving Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

Investment

$5 million for a 12-year term at 2%; originated in 2017

Rationale

Decent affordable housing is always in demand, and its low vacancy rates produce reliable cash flows. Experienced property managers with vision and the right financing can avoid the temptation to upscale properties and instead rehab apartment complexes for working people. Greater Minnesota Housing Fund’s NOAH Fund is the first of its kind to provide such financing. McKnight’s below-market return has allowed the NOAH Fund to tap new capital at banks and government agencies that was not previously available for affordable housing.

Returns

Financial Returns: Too early to evaluate

Social Impact: The NOAH Fund will preserve over 1,000 units of affordable housing in the Twin Cities metro by 2019.

Lessons Learned

There is a thirst at the national and local level for naturally occurring affordable housing strategies. Freddie Mac was sufficiently enthusiastic that it quickly locked down a partnership with the NOAH Fund to finance the Fund’s mortgages at a fantastic rate. This strategy does not guarantee affordability for each unit in perpetuity, but we are hopeful that it will bring new housing developers and apartment operating companies into the mix.

As of November 2017

Photo Credits: Greater Minnesota Housing Fund

Disclaimer of Endorsement: The McKnight Foundation does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or service providers.