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Bridges Programs

Minnesota Housing has been authorized to operate rental assistance programs for people with mental illness. The Bridges and Bridges Regional Treatment Center (RTC) programs provide temporary rental assistance, security deposits, and access to housing supports and supportive services in accordance with Minnesota Statutes Section 462A.2097.

For the Bridges and Bridges RTC programs, the funded housing agencies will establish a rental housing assistance program for low-income people with mental illness. Rental assistance may be in the form of direct rental subsidies, security deposits, damage claims, vacancy payments, application fees, financial assurance/risk mitigation program fees, and utility connection fees for housing. The rental subsidy is temporary and is intended to bridge the housing gap between exiting institutions, segregated settings, supervised release, and homelessness, to a permanent affordable housing option.

Bridges operates as a partnership between the housing agency and a local mental health entity (LMH), behavioral health service agency/agencies, and partners providing housing stabilization services that provide connections to housing supports and mental health services to participants. Each housing agency administering Bridges must enter into a cooperative agreement with an LMH entity and identify partnerships with a behavioral health service agency/agencies to coordinate the implementation of the program. Bridges supports the State of Minnesota’s goals under the Olmstead Implementation Plan, The Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and the Minnesota Comprehensive Adult Mental Health Act.

Bridges and Bridges RTC Rental Assistance Program Guide - 2024-2025 Contract Term

Bridges and Bridges RTC Rental Assistance Program Guide - 2022-2023 Contract Term

Eligibility Criteria for Participants

Housing agencies will work with eligible participants and must give priority to the following populations, with highest priority given to people in category 1. The following priorities must also be identified in the housing agency’s waiting list management and tenant selection plan:

  1. People living in an institution, segregated setting, or under correctional supervision who will be homeless upon exit.
  2. People experiencing homelessness who are assessed as high priority homeless (HPH) through the coordinated entry (CE) system. Including households of individuals, families with children, or youth (age 18+).
  3. People who are experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness.

List of Current Grant Administrators

Bridges RTC

Under the Bridges RTC program, a household must be an eligible Bridges participant and an eligible Bridges RTC participant.

Verification that a person is at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC), St. Peter Regional Treatment Center, or was prior to entering intensive residential treatment services (IRTS), is required for Bridges RTC. Verification may come from the referral source, which is usually the IRTS, RTC, county, or a Tribal nation. People who are eligible but not identified while at AMRTC may have that evidence confirmed after the fact by the facility. Identified participants may transition to IRTS or other treatment prior to community housing and retain their eligibility for Bridges RTC. The time frame that they are diverted to other facilities does not affect the participant’s eligibility; they remain eligible if the individual has a legal commitment court document that has been verified and noted in the file.

Guides and Documents


Annual Meeting

  • Minnesota Housing, in coordination with the Department of Human Services, hosted an annual Bridges Program meeting in May 2024.  Meeting recording (1:32:47) | Presentation Slides
Providers: Program Qualification, Administrative Forms and Trainings

Minnesota Housing hosted a training to assist their partnering housing agency’s in better understanding the 2024-2025 Bridges and Bridges RTC Program Guide changes and the forms that assist in tracking the progress of the Bridges work plan and metrics for the 2024-2025 contract term.
Training recording (1:08:56) | Presentation slides

Leasing Forms

Leasing Forms

Participant Briefing Materials

Participating Briefing Materials

Forms to be used for the 2024-2025 Contract Term:

Forms to be used for the 2022-2023 (or earlier) Contract Term:

Draw Request Form and Submittal Instructions

Draw Request Form and Submittal Instructions

The draw request workbook is secured with a password that must be entered each time the workbook is opened. This added security measure will protect confidential participant data when sent via Secure Upload Tool. Before attempting to open or download this file, you must request the password by sending an e-mail to any of the Rental Assistance staff members at Minnesota Housing. The draw request is submitted monthly by housing agencies and due by the 15th of each month.

Draw Request Form Tutorials

Downloading the Draw Request Form (15:54) - How to download the draw request form; how to import data from a previous workbook; how to save and submit for reimbursement and program compliance. Notes

Part I: Draw Request Form Functionality (16:05) - PART ONE outlines features of the draw request form, various functions and calculations. Notes

Part II: Draw Request Form Functionality; Monthly Log (16:52) - PART TWO focuses on the ‘MONTHLY LOG’ tab of the workbook; automated calculations and formulas; rounding, prorating and how to report suspensions and terminations. Notes

Certifications and Name Changes (18:29) - Details the differences between annuals, interims, unit transfers, suspensions; terminations; how to report late certifications; head of household and name changes. Notes

Housing Related Expenses, Excess Utility Fees and Adjustments (11:56) - Outlines housing related expenses; excess utility expenses and adjustments. Notes