Some charts and maps to consider as we close in on the comment deadline for the draft of the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan. You have until July 22 to comment at minneapolis2040.com!
Minneapolis and neighboring cities are adding more people than homes for those people to live. A housing shortage is a game of musical chairs that hurts those with the least money. The next Minneapolis comprehensive plan needs to help us shift that equation in Minneapolis and set an example for neighboring cities.
These charts show how the Minneapolis and St. Paul are losing the sort of housing that is least expensive: 2, 3, and 4-unit homes. Why? Because zoning codes make them illegal to build on the vast majority of residential land.
Minneapolis lost over 6,000 duplex/triplex/fourplex units since 1990. The city added around 2,500 single-family homes in same period.
St. Paul lost about 3,300 duplex/triplex/fourplex units since 1990. The city gained around 2,000 single-family homes in same period.
Below is a map of racially restrictive covenants, courtesy of Mapping Prejudice. Areas of South and Southwest Minneapolis dominated by racially restrictive covenants in the first half of the 20th century are dominated by single-family zoning today.
As the Minneapolis 2040 draft points out, there’s a direct line from racially restrictive covenants to redlining to restrictive single-family zoning:
The FHA promoted zoning as an effective tool for assuring a “homogenous and harmonious neighborhood.” In the view of the FHA, however, zoning was not enough to accomplish the segregation of races as a means to protecting property values. The FHA underwriting manual made the case for racially restrictive covenants, using language that described people of color as undesirable neighbors in the same vein as nuisances such as odor and high traffic.
In case you missed this post from a few days ago, here’s a chart breaking out Minneapolis residents by renter/owner and income. The low-income, cost-burdened renters are disproportionately people of color; they’re also far less likely to receive a housing subsidy than the high-income homeowners.
This map from Scott Shaffer debunks the notion that low-density zoning keeps the bulldozers away. Right now under existing zoning in Minneapolis, homes are bulldozed and replaced with larger single-family homes — we make it illegal to build anything else. We could choose to allow homes that are cheaper to build, rent, and own. Instead, we’ve chosen expensive housing.
If you aren’t yet fed up with exclusionary zoning, watch my award-eligible documentary film “It’s Always Single-Family in the Twin Cities.” Don’t forget to comment on the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan!
What has happened in the 40 years since the laws were overturned?
In many cases, not much. The laws are one part of a complex puzzle. Just lifting the laws didn’t make better jobs available to minorities, the schools didn’t suddenly improve in areas of the city that had been subject to redlining, re-zoning of the previously restricted areas didn’t add much new housing.
Housing policy is a single lever to a much greater problem of equity.
I’m sorry, having finished watching the video, the mockery is insulting, disrespectful, and unnecessary. It makes the author seem jaded, their opinion biased.
Agreed…. The video is in poor taste… and I think it detracts credibility/respectability from the message.
He watched video of planning commission testimony. Of course he’s jaded.
I completely agree with Shawn’s comments. The mockery of homeowners with concerns is insulting. Shame on you.
Did you think at all about why you used “homeowners” here instead of “people?”
Wow. That video was really not good. It really was 7 mins of mocking people…
Well John’s videos are not for everyone certainly. If you get past the form of humor, what I find useful about them is that it helps me decode some of the language that keeps popping up when people testify about zoning decisions. A lot of testimony and narratives around land use today is often coded through terms like “neighborhood character” or concepts of “the family” (for example).
When people keep talking about single family homes, or why they hate apartments what do they really mean? In the end, I think the videos, with their repetition and exposure of testimony, helps shed light on how people collectively use language to talk about (and avoid talking about) other issues like race, class, or a culture built around driving.
The video is in poor taste.
The people you mock are human beings, as entitled to their own opnion as anyone else. You can try to engage with them to change their minds, and you can try to demonstrate that their arguments are false.
But mocking them accomplishes nothing; nothing except mobilizing them to fight harder for their point of view. Do you think you want all of them sharing your video with each other on Facebook? Outrage over mockery will easily exceed outrage over multi-family housing.
This video is a prime example of how to mobilize your enemies against you.
When 4-5 floor apt/condo buildings were being built nobody cared in my Prospect Park area, now its 10-30 floors with a wall in the river concept and NO PUBLIC housing in the 2040 Plan. Instead its privatize 6000 MPHA units and Glendale’s 14 acre 284 units to be torn down and a mass of 10-30 floor private land give away with 284 Section 8 units.
All these developers ask for TIF and massive variances on every project. Every project.
This “density” is gentrification. Your 2040 Plan rah rah is just an opening for the banks and greedy developers to turn this town into Chi,SF,Manhattan,Portland/Seattle with all the livability of a UAE oil money skyscraper city or a Trump Casino.