Building Standards

Minnesota Housing establishes minimum design standards to assist in our commitment to meeting Minnesotans' needs for decent, safe and sustainable affordable housing. These standards also provide assistance to architects and contractors in understanding their role within Minnesota Housing's development process and associated requirements with their services.
2017 Rental Housing Design/Construction Standards (RHD/CS) Applicable to all Multifamily projects. Multifamily Projects may include single family homes, duplexes, townhomes and multi-storied buildings with elevators in which the occupants are renters and do not own the property. The standards cover the following items:
Chapter 1: Overview
Chapter 2: General Occupancy New Construction Minimum Standards
Chapter 3: General Occupancy Rehabilitation Minimum Standards
Chapter 4: Supportive Housing Minimum Design and Construction Standards
Chapter 5: Housing Tax Credit Design and Construction Standards
Chapter 6: Accessibility Standards
Chapter 7: Visitablity Requirements
Chapter 8: Sustainable Housing
Chapter 9: Design, Construction and Property Standards for Federal Funded Projects
Chapter 10: Critical Needs and Preservation Housing Projects
Chapter 11: Contract Compliance and Equal Opportunity, Fair Housing

Architect's Guide - Information and best practices for architects

Contractor's Guide - Information and best practices for contractors

Environmental Standards - Information and policy requirements for both new construction and rehabilitation projects

Physical Needs Assessment Template (Multifamily Buildings)

Physical Needs Assessment Template (Single Family Homes)

Capital Needs Assessment 20 Year Expenditure Template

Capital Needs Assessment 20 Year Expenditure Template Instructions

Senior Housing Pilot Design Standards Guide (Applicable to the 2016 RFP Round Only)

Construction Close-out

Certificate of General Contractor & Owner

Limited Scope Project Documents

To be used only with Minnesota Housing approval.

Limited Scope Project Sustainability Requirement

Limited Scope Project Abbreviated Design Standards

Reference Links


2017 MN Overlay & Guide to the 2015 Green Communities Criteria

Previous Years MN Overlay & Guide to Green Communities Criteria - For previously selected developments

Multifamily Intended Methods Worksheet

Single Family Intended Methods Worksheet

Waiver Request 2015 EGCC and MN Overlay

EGCC Criteria 5.1 Alternative Compliance Pathway Documents

Energy and Atmosphere Prerequisite 1

Enterprise and LEED for Homes 5.1b Alternative Path

LEED for Homes MF Mid Rise Thermal Enclosure Inspection Checklist

Enterprise Energy Performance Report Form

Useful Design and Construction Information

Building Design Standards FAQs

Design Tips and Opportunities

Design and Construction eNews Archive

April 24, 2017

April 27, 2016

April 1, 2016

April 28, 2015

September 25, 2014

April 16, 2014


Minnesota Housing Staff Architects

Minnesota Housing and Equal Opportunity Housing Logos