Archive | Housing

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The Lowry Hill Apartments: a Place Called Home

What is an apartment building? It can be a place to hang your hat. It can also be a community. The general perception is that apartments are temporary places to live; training wheels for home-ownership. But for many it’s not training wheels: it’s a home. Apartments are often the first step in independence for young […]

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Minneapolis Police, by Tony Webster, via Creative Commons

“Curtilage” And The Constitutional Right You May Not Even Know You Had (And Possibly Just Lost)

The lengthy list of ways that our laws and policies favor single-family residences (and their occupants) over apartments (and tenants) is long and well-known to streets.mn readers. But that list has a significant new entry that has received far less attention. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, many Minnesota tenants will enjoy less protection from […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: Infill and Transportation

So, as I mentioned in the first installment I sometimes take the bus for errands and to get to meetings. As part of the city’s desire to reduce congestion by encouraging public transit Accessory Dwelling Units are not required to have additional parking space of their own. We are likely to either replace our current two […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: the First $2,500

Today, a little past Thanksgiving 2018, I wrote a check for $2,500. I have the money in a savings account and will transfer it to checking shortly. Yes, $2,500 is a lot of money! I could buy a really nice bicycle for that amount, maybe even one with electric assist. Instead we are spending this […]

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Chart of the Day: US New Housing Supply 1968 – 2017

Here’s an interesting chart that showed up on my desk via Barry Ritholz’s blog. It’s a chart of new housing supply in the US over a fifty-year span of time, and you really can see how the US housing new construction market has not yet recovered from the ’08 recession and financial crisis. Check it […]

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Brit Builds an ADU: Who Would Want an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Two years ago my family of three adults, a polyamorous family with my wife and husband, bought a three bedroom, two bathroom house in south Minneapolis. It’s charming and has fantastic 1940s details like coved ceilings, stucco exterior, and a smallish footprint at about 1600 sq ft. I work from home full-time and we have […]

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Affordable Housing in Minneapolis and Beyond

The current debates over the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan and inclusionary housing raise some interesting ideas for consideration about the city and Twin Cities metro area overall. First, more housing at all levels of affordability is critical to the future of the city, not for the sake of density itself but rather the city’s ability […]

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Chart of the Day: Percent of Income Dedicated to Rent, 2009 – 2016

In case you missed the chart debate that broke out on Twitter yesterday, here are two highlights. The first is this chart, shared by Tony Damiano, (allegedly) showing a growing divergence between real wages and rents over the last two decades in the Twin Cities metro:   It’s a chart that looks familiar to me, […]

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Map Monday: Minneapolis Average Rents, 1934

Here’s a cool map I recently found from a 1939 Federal FHA report called The Structure and Growth of Residential Neighborhoods in American Cities. It’s very old-school urban geography, but has a bunch of cool maps including this one: Here’s part of the text, describing the rent trends in 30s Minneapolis vs. New York City: […]

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Here’s Some Research Backing Up Minneapolis 2040

Some Minneapolis 2040 detractors have complained that no evidence has been offered that building more housing where people want to live (i.e. “density”) is good. “I just don’t see it as a way that we would get a measurable impact, and especially from an affordability standpoint,” Ward 13 Council Member Linea Palmisano told the Star Tribune. Another […]

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