City housing officials say there is strong interest among developers in a north Minneapolis green building program.
The city has set aside more than $3 million for grants and loans to build 100 environmentally friendly houses on city-owned vacant lots over the next five years. The city is seeking developers familiar with green building standards, which are aimed at maximizing energy efficiency.
Two homes are under construction, and builders will break ground on 11 more in the spring, Tom Streitz, Minneapolis Housing Policy and Development director, said.
He said the intent is to replace empty lots with owner-occupied single-family homes.
"We're going to take property that would currently cost us about $20,000 a year to maintain, so it's a net negative," Streitz said, "and we're going to turn that into a new home — say a $200,000 house — that's going to pay property taxes into the future."