Archive | Housing

Geodesic Domes outside of Amazon's Seattle HQ

Don’t Hold Your Breath on Amazon

Recently, Amazon announced plans to build “HQ2,” a second headquarters for their growing business. Amazon is soliciting various municipal and state governments with a request for proposals outlining the strengths of their particular region (unique and valuable business intel in and of itself, but that’s a whole ‘nother post) and what kind of tax breaks […]

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Five Reasons to Support the Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study

The Saint Paul City Council hearing on the Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study is on September 6th, 2017. Highland District Council, Macalester Groveland Community Council and Union Park District Council voted to support the Study. The Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study recommends Traditional Neighborhood rezoning of Snelling and its commercial nodes. Traditional Neighborhood zoning will […]

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wall

A Plan for Tearing Down Exclusionary Zoning Walls

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran an op-end titled “The Walls We Won’t Tear Down” about how some of society’s worst problems have a very boring cause: exclusionary zoning laws. Here’s the conclusion: Just as it is shameful for government regulation to exclude people from neighborhoods on the basis of race, it is similarly deplorable […]

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Chart of the Day: Twin Cities Homeownership by Race

Here’s a chart from a must-read Jim Buchta article in this weekend’s Star Tribune, on the homeownership trends in the Twin Cities metro. Check it out: The piece includes a whole bunch of troublesome data from the Census Bureau, and caps it off with a few individual stories of people trying to buy homes. Here’s […]

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Chart of the Day: Visualizing Our Backlog of Home Building

Many people have observed on this site and others that we’re not building enough housing in the United States, and that this has a significant impact on affordability. Housing lasts for a long time if properly looked after, so if the population and people’s household arrangements don’t change, we don’t need to build much housing. Neither […]

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I Got Kicked Out of My House — You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

I got kicked out of my house a month ago.  I was renting a little three bedroom house tucked into the armpit of a highway in southwest Saint Paul. I paid my rent on time and did all the repairs the house needed myself as things broke. I’d bill for the repair out of my […]

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Chart of the Day: American Home Size Trends

Yesterday I discovered a new “micro-unit” apartment building in Saint Paul, and it made me think about home size trends. Here’s a chart from Bloomberg showing percentage sales in different size brackets: The author of the piece, Patrick Clark, trumpets the fact that home size has stopped growing, with the release of the latest data: The […]

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yimby swag

What I learned at YIMBYtown 2017

Last week Anton Schieffer and I formed the Minnesota delegation at YIMBYtown 2017 in Oakland, Calif. YIMBY stands for “yes in my backyard,” which is in opposition to NIMBY, “not in my backyard,” which is a name you can call someone who opposes a thing you like, if you’ve given up on being persuasive or […]

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Housing is (Not) a Human Right

One of the more popular ways for progressive candidates to excite a crowd or for pro-housing advocates to frame their arguments is to assert “Housing is a human right.” We should stop saying this, and call out candidates when they say it. It’s a lie. Housing isn’t a human right—at least not in practice. I […]

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Minneapolis Zoning Plate #25 from 1975. Again, we see areas where apartments were previously allowed changed to prevent their construction, replaced with R2B zoning.

Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Shortage Rooted in Downzoning of 1970s

Efforts are underway to preserve existing “naturally occurring affordable housing” (NOAH) in Minneapolis. A $25 million loan program created by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) will provide non-profit housing organizations with low-interest loans in order to purchase and preserve existing NOAH properties. What is a NOAH property? The GMHF site puts it this way: […]

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