Archive | Housing

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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Chart of the Day: Twin Cities New Housing by Urban Type, 2005-2016

The Met Council data crunchers have a new housing report out with the latest year’s worth of data. Here are three chart-y highlights: According to the report, there is still a lot of “balance” in the forces of housing in the Metro area. The report says this about the recent years’ trend: In our five-year retrospective […]

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Victoria Park: A Short History of Intentions

The vigorous and spirited debate about the future of the Ford Plant site in Highland Park got me thinking about another large, polluted, previously industrial site in Saint Paul. The history of development of Victoria Park, which is bounded by West 7th Street, Otto Avenue, and Shepard Road, offers a lesson in plans changing over […]

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No Shortage of Development in the Halloween Capital

During the recession, the City of Anoka bought up properties, prepared the land, and quietly waited for the market to come back. Fast forward to 2017, and Anoka is booming. The City has many features that make it a development destination. Residents are served by the Northstar Commuter rail line and Highway 10 provides east […]

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New Minneapolis Housing Projects Head to Planning Commission – April 2017

There’s a handful of housing projects coming up on the April 13, 2017 Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole Agenda. I’m primarily writing this because every time people hear about new housing being built, there are often groans of “Ugh, it’s always more bro/luxury apartments.” It’s not really true, so I wanted to highlight these projects. So here’s a […]

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The Need for #HousingnotBillboards in Saint Paul

Saint Paul is not lacking for one or two story commercial buildings topped with billboards. This is frustrating on many levels – they are designed for drivers, not pedestrians; there are no design standards; and they are often ignored in “neighborhood character” discussions. The first two of those frustrations, driver-focused design and lack of design standards, are […]

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Minneapolis Residents Opposed Housing for WWII Veterans

Originally posted on Neighbors for More Neighbors. The news that Minneapolis had again passed 400,000 residents last summer is a reminder that we did it before. Buried in our history is a story of a post-war Minneapolis that at one time had more than 520,000 residents, and has not seen as many since. Part of the […]

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Where the Minneapolis DFL Candidates Stand on Housing

It’s election season in the Twin Cities, and Minneapolis, among other cities, will elect City Council Members and a Mayor this year. While the general election isn’t until November, the city’s dominant Democratic Farmer-Labor party will begin its endorsement process next week. The party endorses through a caucus process, and their website has information on the location and […]

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Exclusionary Zoning: the New Redlining

In the 1930s, Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis was a redlining boundary. Banks were instructed to give loans to people who wanted to live west of Hennepin, but the neighborhoods just east of Hennepin were labeled “definitely declining” and people who wanted to buy a home or renovate one were systematically denied loans. The redlining categories […]

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