Minneapolis is offering $3.25 million in construction loans and grants to developers who are willing to build "green" homes on city-owned vacant lots on the city's North Side. The offer is part of a long-term program called Green Homes North, which aims to fund 100 new homes during the next five years in struggling north Minneapolis neighborhoods. Goals include building sustainable homes to green standards, employing local minority and women contractors and workers, and using local green products.

The project is part of a broader effort to mitigate the damage done by the foreclosure crisis. Buyers of houses built through the program will be able to take part in existing incentive programs. Proposals for the project are due by Feb. 15; you can find more information at startribune.com/a2011.