Category: Housing

National Links: Stopping at the Line

Every day at The Overhead Wire, we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list. At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

Learn to Love Shared Walls

To get the sustainable, vibrant, and livable cities we say we want, we’re all going to have to learn to love shared walls. I’m in my mid 30s, and in that privileged class where many or most of my friends are in professional jobs and hitting that point in their careers where they’re looking to […]

Some Alternative Options in Detached Housing, Part Two

Many people want to live in a new-construction, detached home, but the traditional way to achieve that – owning your own house and lot – may not be achievable or desirable for all. Part one of this series covered two options: owning the interior only of a detached structure, either a traditional detached townhome, or […]

A white car that crashed into a traffic lightpost. It has a coating of snow on it.

What is the End Game? An Airing of Grievances

It’s that time of year again, and what a year it’s been! I usually like writing posts that have some aspect of positivity or future collective goal, but this post is not like that. This is my 2020 airing of grievances. As COVID-19 continued to spread through our community and we neared the peak of […]

Why are Building Height Limits in Minneapolis 2040 Delaying Affordable Housing in Whittier?

The City of Minneapolis’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan promised to change our city’s approach to housing. The plan’s central argument is that the city needs more homes, especially since Minneapolis doesn’t have sufficient affordable and supportive housing for our most vulnerable community members. Decades of racist and exclusionary zoning policies have made Minneapolis one of the […]

Map of the Day: Substandard Lot Sizes in Minneapolis

There are more than 14,000 residential lots in Minneapolis that are smaller than what is currently required to build on per the current zoning code. Now, this is a messy statement. There are multiple minimum lot sizes (5,000 square feet, 6,000 square feet, and a large lot zone where the number is based on the […]

Some Alternative Options in Detached Housing, Part 1

There’s many advantages to living in a detached house – they generally offer more space, more separation and privacy from neighbors, and a discrete place to drive up to, look at, and call your own. But there’s definitely drawbacks to the primary ways of acquiring a detached home (owning a house and land or renting […]

Will Minneapolis 2040 Live Up to its Promise?

Undoing failed zoning by basing new rules on the development that occurred under that failed zoning is a cycle doomed to repeat past failures. If you want to get the diversity of buildings we used to have, you have to work back from what you want.

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Is It Time To Look Past the Missing Middle?

In the “before-times”, housing advocates in Minneapolis worked with a progressive city council to pass the 2040 Plan. The New York Times proclaimed, “Minneapolis, Tackling Housing Crisis and Inequity, Votes to End Single-Family Zoning”. These were all great achievements, and it is clear that 2040, inclusionary zoning, and other reforms and investments have made real […]

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]