Archive | Housing

Confessions of a Former NIMBY

When I was a teenager, a multi-family housing development was proposed next door to my family’s home in Little Canada. The developer wanted to put two rows of townhomes where there was a small home on a large lot. People in the neighborhood resisted (including my family), and ultimately the city council decided not to […]

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Jump Starting the Benefits of ADUs in Minneapolis

Let’s talk about ADUs. First the definition from the City of Minneapolis: An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) – also referred to as a granny flat, mother-in-law apartment, or carriage house – is a self-contained living unit that can be located within the walls of an existing or newly constructed home, or that can be an […]

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Bring Back Streetcar Living

Minneapolis is a streetcar city. Maybe it’s hard to tell if you mostly experience it by using a freeway to get to downtown, but out on the city’s surface streets, it’s easy to see once you know what you’re looking at. The last streetcar rails were torn up (or just as likely, paved over) in […]

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Chart of the Day: Loss of Duplex/Triplex/Fourplex Homes in Minneapolis

Like a lot of other places, Minneapolis has a zoning code that promotes areas of low-density or high-density with little in between. That rapidly shrinking segment of homes in between is often referred to as the Missing Middle. One advantage (among others) of small apartment houses is that they’re less expensive to build per unit […]

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Map Monday: US States by Renter Friendliness

Here’s a map showing how states rank on a 0-100 scale of “renter friendliness”. It is brought to you by Rent Café, which I assume is some sort of apartment-finding website. They have a good list of policies that give more rights to renters, including how long you have to wait to get back a […]

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Chart of the Day: New Housing Growth by Type and Region

A new report out from Brookings titled “Unpacking the housing shortage” came out this week. It deals with some of the root causes of the affordable housing crisis in the US. They show some important trends with a few great charts. Let’s look at them quickly. The first shows where “new housing” comes from, and […]

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Chart of the Day: US Median Floor Area Per Capita Trends

Here is an elegant and revealing chart from Douglas Farr’s new textbook, “Sustainable Nation.” It comes from Chapter One, “Where We Are” and shows the growth in housing space per person over the last fifty or so years: Note that this data is for the United States, and is taken from US census data cited […]

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Is Home Ownership Out of Reach?

As Minneapolis moves forward with an update to its Comprehensive Plan, there’s been some great discussion around how we accommodate a fast-growing population. As our city grows, it’s important to talk about how to make this a more equitable city for everyone who lives here, and all the shapes and sizes of new homes that […]

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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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