The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is committed to leading and supporting collaborative efforts to add housing capacity in the region. We build better lives by ensuring that our region has sufficient housing availability and that lack of housing is no longer an obstacle to shelter and jobs. It is NMF’s goal to help add 1,500 new housing units to the region’s housing inventory by 2024.

NMF will offer grants up to $5,000 for selected projects.  Eligible projects will be prioritized for funding based on the reasonable expectation that the grant funds will help a housing project come to fruition that aligns with the desirable project goals listed below. Eligible organizations receiving grants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit or public organization, or as sanctioned by a tribal government as a nonprofit agency.  Final grant decisions will be based on information received during the application process.

Maximum grant dollars available from October 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 will be capped at $5,000 per project. NMF requires a 1:1 match, of which a minimum of 50% should be in the form of cash. From October 1, 2018 through June 20, 2019 NMF will have an open grant funding period until available funding is committed. Grant applications will be accepted at any time and considered for funding on a first come, first serve basis. A pre-proposal application can be found here. Once the pre-proposal has been completed, and NMF staff has verified that the proposed project meets minimum standards, a full grant application may be invited. In order to apply for full grant funding the applicant will be asked to submit an application detailing:

  1. The problem that your project will address
  2. Who are the responsible parties
  3. Timeline for completing goals
  4. Proposed budget
  5. Detailed breakdown of matching funds


NMF has developed two grant categories for housing program grants which are Community Planning and Community Engagement. These categories are considered priority areas for funding.


Community Planning Grant uses include but are not limited to:

  • Housing studies
  • Economic development studies that research the effect on ED from lack of housing
  • Comprehensive city plans that include a detailed analysis for housing needs
  • Feasibility studies that focus on proposed housing projects


Community Engagement Grant uses include but are not limited to:

  • Community training specific to housing
  • Conducting community surveys focused on housing
  • Convening meetings to address housing topics


At this time NMF will not be accepting grant applications that aim to use funds to support on-going institutional operating expenses such as paying for staff time. When evaluating grant applications, NMF staff will assess and measure the reasonable expectation that the use of grant funds will help bring a project to fruition that aligns with NMF’s desirable project attributes. Examples of desirable project attributes include projects that address or encourage:

  • Downtown development
  • New housing units
  • Affordable housing units
  • Housing projects that address the needs of low-income persons
  • Projects that refurbish existing housing units and preserve current housing stock
  • Housing projects in high workforce need areas
  • Initiatives that lead to single family refurbish projects
  • Projects that support the development of single family homes that address the area’s defined value gap
  • Initiatives that lead to multifamily refurbish projects
  • Projects that support the development of multifamily homes that address the area’s defined value gap

Anyone wishing to apply for funding through this program should contact Robert Maher

Click here to fill out a Housing Grant Pre-Proposal