Regain Affordable Housing

Housing is a human right. Government is responsible for ensuring everyone has a safe and healthy place to stay. Minneapolis is the fastest growing city in the Midwest, we cannot simply resist development.

Housing disparity is a direct result of racist and segregationist policies. A 2009 study showed white families with annual incomes less than $39,000 were more likely to receive a mortgage than black families earning more than $157,000 annually. I got involved in my neighborhood organization when the home foreclosure crisis was developing. Brokers targeted vulnerable Northside families and sold them subprime mortgages and refinancing options. I worked with the Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to connect my neighbors with financial assistance when they fell behind on monthly payments.

In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis, housing inequity continues to rise.  In 2015, 19 percent of black residents lived in tracts of poverty, up 13 percent from 2000. The City should work with the County Commissioners to turn proclaimed ‘equal housing opportunity’ into actual housing units that are fair and affordable for everyone.

 

Action

  1. Build enough affordable housing to meet demand—4200 units per year
  2. Increase density in certain parts of city without displacing single-family neighborhoods
  3. Incentivize the building of new units at every income level
  4. Increase the number of public housing residents serving on city boards and commissions


We need to transform the housing issue through community building solutions. To keep low-income families and households from being priced-out, we must protect and incentivize naturally occurring affordable housing. In the present system, renters are significantly disadvantaged compared to landlords. To ensure the maintenance of safe units that meet regulations, the city should keep property taxes low for high-quality landlords.

Prioritizing development to build density in certain neighborhoods while building new units at all income levels benefits everyone. It also increases our property tax base, allows new talent to find a home here, and prevents the rapid displacement that uncontrolled gentrification is causing across America.