Archive | Housing

Picture of taupe garage through back window with s-shaped connection to alley.

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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Mix of Single-Family Detached Houses on Chowen Ave. S.

Single Family Housing – A Waste of Space

As southwest Minneapolis takes a strong stand against density by arguing for the preservation of the “character of their neighborhood”, let’s take a look at the inefficiencies of living in a single-family house. Take me, for example. I live in south Minneapolis in a single-family house. It’s 1,800 square feet. The occupants of the house […]

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A Few Notes From YIMBYtown

I had the opportunity to attend YIMBYtown in Boston. It’s a good chance to learn from other activists about what was going on in other cities, and to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Mostly though, people just asked me if I knew WedgeLIVE (yes) or if I was behind the […]

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Yes to Homes, But I’m No “YIMBY”

A couple weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed off to Boston for an annual gathering called YIMBYtown. I’m no YIMBY. I want everyone to have a safe, affordable place to live, and for that to happen we need to build enough homes to go around. (Yes, that includes apartments, like my own apartment-that-is-a-home.) […]

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Chart of the Day: Mobile Homes as Percentage of Housing, US States

Here’s a chart via Jason Segedy’s blog that shows manufactured homes as a percentage of housing in each state. Here’s the chart, with Minnesota marked:   Segedy writes about some patterns: One of the things that affects the overall age of housing in any given location is the percentage of mobile homes in the mix.  […]

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Minneapolis 2040 Opposition: A Look At The Signs

High property wealth and homeownership is the connecting thread among those strongly opposed to the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Strib recently reported on rumors that city planners will scale back on the nationally heralded plan to legalize fourplexes citywide. The new plan could instead allow for triplexes everywhere. This, among other compromises, shifts the […]

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