Archive | Housing

Small houses from the 1940s in Seward

Starter Homes Are Dead, Long Live Starter Homes

As you may have heard, the Minneapolis draft comprehensive plan includes a proposal to lift the ban on small (2-3 story) multifamily buildings in most of the city, and to allow new fourplexes in all residential areas. Council Members Cam Gordon and Andrew Johnson have said they worry these policies will cause the destruction of […]

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Chart of the Day: Twin Cities Housing Affordability on a Global Scale

Here’s a dumb chart from a Richard Florida article to start your day off right. It shows a global (!) list of cities according to “median multiple” income in those cities. The list is diverse and covers much of the Global North. Here you go: Here’s Florida’s point from his article, titled “The Global Housing […]

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My View Is Ruined But Things Are Fine

Two new apartment buildings are rising in the view from my 3rd floor Whittier apartment. I was often enamored with the landscape I could witness but now the feeling is gone, ruined by these housing units. The building immediately adjacent to mine stands six stories tall, towering over my home by two floors. It has […]

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How Many Homes Does Minneapolis Need?

Minneapolis is growing. We’ve heard lots of talk about how Minneapolis is losing affordable housing faster than we can replace it. We say housing should be a human right (and it should!). We hear about rising rents and first-time buyers unable to find starter homes. Whether you want more public housing or you want the market […]

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Chart of the Day: Saint Paul Housing Cost vs. Income for Renters and Homeowners

There’s a wonderful new draft of a document called the “Housing Conditions and Trends Inventor, Needs Assessment, and Implementation Strategy” from the Saint Paul Planning and Economic Department that was released last week in conjunction with the draft Comprehensive Plan. It is chock full of housing data, including lots of information about the current state […]

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Not So Tall After All

You may have heard that Minneapolis has been working on a big project to overhaul its comprehensive plan. At least you’ve heard from some that those evil social engineers are trying to cram a one-size-fits-all plan to build tenements to replace every single family home and banish the sun from backyard gardens across the city (because someone […]

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Accessory Dwelling Units: A Tale of Two Cities

About five years ago, interest in accessory dwelling units had reached a critical mass in Minneapolis and St. Paul. ADUs were seen by proponents as a way to increase housing diversity and flexibility and add density in residential neighborhoods. With cities around the country having already approved ADUs, planners and proponents had a wealth of […]

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Candidates for Saint Paul Ward 4: Mitra Jalali Nelson on Developing Ward 4’s Vacant Areas

Writer’s note: On August 14, 2018, St Paul Ward 4 residents will have the opportunity to vote for a new City Council Member in a special election to replace Russ Stark as he accepts a new position within the city. As a Ward 4 resident, I wrote to the candidates to ask them specific questions […]

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Sons of Norway rendering

New Housing Coming to Sons of Norway Site

In February, the Minneapolis City Council voted to reject an appeal by the East Calhoun Community Organization (ECCO), allowing over 300 new homes to be built at the Sons of Norway site on Lake Street. The location is in the “Heart of Uptown”, one of the most transit-rich and walkable communities in Minnesota. There are […]

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Chart of the Day: Rent Gap Theory

There’s a wonderful article at Strong Towns by Daniel Herriges that folks interested in Twin Cities housing will likely enjoy. The piece contains this chart, which attempts to explain some of the real estate forces behind gentrification and disinvestment. Folks who spent much time learning about old-school urban geography eventually come across this concept — […]

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