Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 5.4

GreenStep City Best Practices Buildings and Lighting
Building Redevelopment No. 5

Create economic and regulatory incentives for redevelopment and repurposing of existing buildings.

Best Practice Action 4

Create/modify a green residential remodeling assistance/financing program to assist homeowners in adding space or features such as EV charging, renewables to their existing homes.

  • See, for example, Burnsville's Green Guide (green remodeling strategies) and the 2008 Green Remodeling Idea Book from First Suburbs Coalition of Kansas City.
  • See Roseville's remodeling books page for links to two remodeling pattern books by architect Robert Gerloff of Minneapolis: Cape Cods & Ramblers: A Remodeling Planbook for Post-WWII Houses and Split Visions: A Planbook of Remodeling Ideas for Split-Level and Split-Entry Houses.
  • For one action and resources related to alley houses (accessory dwelling units), see GreenStep best practice action 7.2
  • See EV resources at Drive Electric Minnesota
1 star Incentives/assistance are offered/promoted by the city, AND green building practices are explicitly included.
2 star Implement 1-star actions AND provide guidance on how to retain historic architectural elements during remodels.
3 star Implement 2-star actions AND the program's successes are documented/well-promoted.

Who's doing it

Coon Rapids - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2009, Coon Rapids created the Home for Generations program to incentivize remodeling older style homes to meet the needs of today’s families. The goal is to promote reinvestment in existing neighborhoods. The City purchased vacant, bank-owned homes and worked to modify them before reselling them as examples for remodeling options in standard city homes. Homeowners interested can receive home improvement loans, access to building material outlets, utility rebates and other incentives. Each year the program focuses on different styles of development such as split-entry, ramblers and one story-and-a-half homes. The City has also utilized sustainable practicing such as using recycled paint and solar panels. Part of the program also includes allowing residents to tour the home before and after to educate others about the program and remodeling possibilities.

In 2013, the City launched Home for Generations II, a newer program that provides financial incentives to homeowners completing larger remodeling projects. They can receive up to $5,000 and a rebate on 50% of their building permit fees. To qualify, projects must be valued at $35,000 or higher and add living space or major remodel to homes at least 20 years old. So far, 30 homes have been remodeled utilizing the incentives through Home for Generations II.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Colleen Sinclair (City staff) | csinclair@coonrapidsmn.gov | 763-767-6485
Partners:
White Bear Lake - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City sponsored the wildly successful Rambler Revolution Demonstration Project, located at 3790 McKnight Road in White Bear Lake, was to show the public creative and affordable possibilities for renovating a post-WWII rambler. The City's hope has been that the project educated homeowners about the design, permitting and construction process. The goal has been to provide examples of how to remodel a rambler-style, three bedroom house of 1,000 sq. ft. or less by opening up the floorplan to create a spacious and inviting great room feel, with a more functional kitchen, generous master bedroom, and energy enhancements. The City held four open houses, where the public toured the home before, during, and after the improvements were made.
A website was created for the public to learn about the Rambler Revolution Demonstration Project, and one of the main sections of the website is dedicated to green building strategies. These green building strategies are also promoted on the City's official website.

Additionally, the City of White Bear Lake has teamed up with Ramsey County and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to promote several loans available to homeowners for general repairs, energy improvements, and necessary fixes. Most loans have qualifications, such as income level, that designate who can receive the loans. These loans are promoted on the City’s website.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Connie Taillon (City staff) | ctaillon@whitebearlake.org | 651-429-8564
Partners: Neighborhood Energy Connection; Minnesota Housing Finance Agency; Ramsey County
Mankato - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has several programs that could potentially assist property owners with energy efficiency upgrades. The programs are briefly described below:

Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program
Provides up to $20,000 in deferred, forgivable loans to low to moderate income households within the city’s targeted neighborhoods. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new windows, siding, roofs and furnaces.

Rental Rehabilitation Program
Provides up to $12,000 per unit in deferred, forgivable loans to property owners that rent to low to moderate income households. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new windows, siding, roofs and furnaces.

Commercial Rehabilitation Program
Provides up to $25,000 in deferred, forgivable loans to commercial properties within the city’s targeted area. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new windows, siding and roofs.

City Center Renaissance Revolving Loan Fund
Provides up to $200,000 in low interest loans to property owners within the City Center. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new siding, windows, roofs and HVAC systems.

Economic Development Authority Revolving Loan Fund
Provides up to $300,000 in low interest loans to industrial property owners in the city. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new siding, windows, roofs and HVAC systems.

On projects which may impact exterior elements (roof/siding/windows), economic development staff will coordinate review of project with City Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) and State Historic Preservation Office to ensure proper historical elements are not impacted and that updated components maintain proper historic context of the time period. Outreach of program included presentation and mailings through applicable established neighborhood associations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
Partners:
Crystal - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has a contract with the NW HousingResource Center to provide technical assistance to residents and homeowners and most residents who make improvements are eligible for a rebate. The Center encourages re-use and renovation of existing homes rather than demolition and new construction.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff) | Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov | 763-531-1140
Partners: NW Housing Resource Center
Maplewood - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
With the adoption of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) in Maplewood, there are many changes in which the city assists with construction. The IgCC will assist contractors in additions and renovations as well as new construction. The city will be able to help contractors merge existing buildings with new construction in a manner that will benefit the whole structure. The city will also help update green building practices throughout the home and not just the existing structure. This assistance will occur during the permitting process required by the city for new construction.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jason Brash (City staff) | Jason.brash@maplewoodmn.gov | 651-249-2324
Partners:
New Hope - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city and the Center for Energy and Environment offer a comprehensive array of financing services, including Home Energy Loan Programs, Geothermal Financing, and Solar Financing.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff) | jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us | 763-531-5119
Partners: Center for Energy and Environment
Rochester - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Rochester City Council funds a home rehab program administered through the Planning Department. It applies standards which address energy efficient retrofits. The goals of the program are to preserve and restore existing homes and neighborhoods and to provide assistance for low income home owners. Preservation of historic architectural features and/or assisting higher income households to increase the size of dwellings have not been identified as priorities.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff) | ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US | 507-328-7132
Partners:
Woodbury - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Woodbury has The City’s Woodbury Goes Green Loan is available to those taking steps toward sustainability. http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/housing/loan-and-incentive-programs
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Partners: