Brownfields Gap Financing

The Brownfield Gap Financing Program (BGFP) provides grants to nonprofit developers for environmental assessment of property in Hennepin County through funding from the County’s Environmental Response Fund (ERF).  This fund is intended to be used for unexpected environmental issues, to prepare for a larger funding request in the County funding cycle, or to identify/clarify and, in some cases, remediate suspected environmental concerns. Minnesota Brownfields is the co-administrator of the BGFP. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and all funding decisions are made by Hennepin County. All nonprofit developers are encouraged to apply for funds. 

Typical BGFP grants are <$15,000.  Projects may apply for a maximum of $15,000 total in a 12-month span. Projects benefit the community through the development or clean-up of greenspace, recreation centers, affordable housing, education centers, community centers, and neighborhood level economic development opportunities. Information about developing brownfields for community gardens can be found here.

In 2020, the Brownfield Gap Financing Program:

Granted a total of $254,790 to to 24 projects:

  •  Affordable housing: 13 projects
  •  Youth and family services: 4 projects
  •  Neighborhood revitalization: 5 projects
  • Arts & Culture: 2 projects

Click here to view an interactive BGFP map (2013-21)

To Apply:

1) View our criteria checklist for eligible projects

2) Complete a BGFP Application (completed by non-profit developer).

3) Obtain a City Council resolution in support of the project’s application for funding through the BGFP.  A blanket resolution is available for Minneapolis projects.  Projects outside of Minneapolis may use this template City Council resolution.

4) Obtain an itemized cost estimate from one of our approved contractors here: BGFP Contractors

We look forward to working with you. Please send completed applications and direct questions to:

Heidi Timm Bijold
[email protected]

For Consultants:

If you are interested in applying to become an approved contractor for the Brownfield Gap Financing Program, please review the Request for Qualifications document to learn more.  Any consultant who meets the general qualifications listed below may apply.

General Qualifications:
  • Must have an executed Master Agreement for Professional Consulting Services with Hennepin County for the following work types:
    • Asbestos, Lead Paint, and Regulated Building Materials Assessment and Removal Oversight and/or
    • Environmental Property Assessment and Cleanup; and,
  • Must have demonstrated experience with relevant activities listed in Request for Qualifications document
  • Must meet insurance requirements
  • If selected, must execute a Professional Services Agreement with Minnesota Brownfields

Learn more about becoming an eligible contractor:  Consultant RFQ

NEW:

Radon testing is supported in these limited situations:

  • applicant is a non-profit organization or a government entity (i.e., HC Community Works)
  • project involves affordable housing (i.e. not market rate), and
  • radon testing is required as part of financial support.

MN-Brownfields-GAP-PROJECTS-CHART-020414

Project Examples:

Anishinabe Wakiagun – “Bii-Gii-Wiin” Housing Addition: 

Multi Family - Anishinabe Bii Gii Wiin

Located adjacent to the Minneapolis American Indian Center, just west of the Hiawatha corridor, Anishinabe Wakiagun was the first housing unit established by the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC) in Minneapolis, back in 1993.  As a means to continue filling the gap in such services, the AICDC has gone forward with the successful acquisition of a 2015 BGFP grant. This funding will help to complete Phase I/Phase II ESA, complete a Response Action Plan and request for supplemental Application Consultation during this expansion of the original building. With assistance from the Project for Pride in Living, the expansion is expected to be completed by May 2016 and will provide the site with an additional 32 units of housing, expanded parking lot as well as green space for the community.

mn-brownfields-clara-barton-open-school

Clara Barton Open School: BGFP funded soil sampling to aid in the construction of Clara Barton Open School’s community. The program helped make significant gains in reaching the school’s goals of enhancing the Open Curriculum by providing opportunities for hands-on learning to cultivate student curiosity and exploration, and to make the school grounds a greener and healthier environment by co-creating a successful, sustainable vegetable garden using organic methods.

mn-brownfields-cookie-cart

The Cookie Cart: Located in north Minneapolis, the Cookie Cart  provides teens with work, life and leadership skills through experience and training in an urban nonprofit bakery.  Through the BGFP, the nonprofit was able to conduct a Phase I ESA and asbestos/hazardous materials survey to mitigate the costs of their full renovation, enabling them to double the number of teens they employ.