Building Standards

Minnesota Housing establishes minimum design standards to help meet 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.

2020 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.

Architect's Guide - Requirements, information and best practices for architects

Contractor's Guide - Requirements, information and best practices for general 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)

20 Year Capital Expenditure Template (Scattered Site/Multiple Building Type Version)

20 Year Capital Expenditure Template

20 Year Capital Expenditure Template Instructions

Architects Opinion Letter (for Loan Closing and Commitment)

Construction Close-out

Certificate of General Contractor & Owner (for Construction Close-out Checklist)

Limited Scope Project Documents

To be used only with Minnesota Housing approval

Limited Scope Project Sustainability Requirements

Limited Scope Project Abbreviated Design Standards


2021 Sustainability Working Draft Documents

Note: The 2020 version of the Enterprise Green Communities will be adopted through the 2021 MN Overlay and Guide planned for official release in April, 2021. The following working draft documents are being made available now to allow more time for implementation of applicable changes starting in April.

2021 MN Overlay & Guide to the 2020 Green Communities Criteria (December 2020 working draft)

2021 Draft Multifamily Intended Methods Worksheet

2021 Draft Single Family Intended Methods Worksheet

2021 Criteria 5.1b Prescriptive Pathway Compliance Worksheet

2020 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria 1.1 Integrative Design Project Priorities Survey

2020 Sustainability Documents

2020 MN Overlay & Guide to the 2015 Green Communities Criteria

Multifamily Intended Methods Worksheet

Single Family Intended Methods Worksheet

Reference Links

Universal Design Worksheet (UD Worksheet) (for use when UD selection points are awarded)

Waiver Request

Waiver Request Form (for use when requesting waiver from any Building Standards such as Rental housing Design/Construction Standards, MN Overlay, Environmental Policy, Architect's Guide, Contractor's Guide, etc.)

Previous Years Building Standards and Guides


Minnesota Housing Logos



Minnesota Housing Staff Architects