Housing affordability in Minneapolis is determined mainly on market factors but is also being affected by policies handed down to us by City Hall. For more than a decade, our city has seen a increasing trend in construction of smaller rental units over ownership units and larger units that can accommodate families.
We have also experienced a precipitous decline in homeownership opportunities due to the destruction and reduction of ownership units being gobbled up by corporations. Most residents of Minneapolis now rent rather than own their homes and the opportunities for people to own are becoming fewer and fewer by the day. Instead of being able to build wealth through homeownership, renters in Minneapolis (disproportionately people of color) give away approximately $1.5 billion in wealth in rent each year to largely corporate interests. This is not sustainable for our city.
Keeping housing affordable reduces the likelihood of gentrification and helps keep rent increases in check for residents living near newer developments.
As your member of City Council I will work to:
- Build a wide variety of housing from single room occupancies (SROs) to housing that can accommodate larger families.
- Restrict the number single family homes and duplexes corporations and investment firms can own in Minneapolis. These entities have been buying homes and renting them out at rates that are much higher than a mortgage would be on the same property.
- Encourage the preservation of more of Ward 10’s existing housing stock. Construction of new housing is expensive and environmentally damaging. The city should encourage upgrades to existing buildings and provide incentives to developers and property owners to remodel instead of demolish existing structures. Single family homes are often the best option for large and multigenerational families. The new housing market is not meeting their needs by primarily focusing on 2 bedroom and smaller units. This is causing hardship to families and people of color, disproportionately.
- Partner with non-profits and county, state, and federal governments to further invest in the construction of affordable housing.
- Increase down-payment assistance so that more renters can own and be their own landlords while building wealth.
- Further assist non-profits and government entities in funding emergency rental assistance for families in need.
- Setting the city’s minimum wage on a track to be a more living-wage. Raising the minimum-wage to $15/hr was a good start, but it simply isn’t enough for many families, especially larger families, to find suitable housing.
Assisting The Unhoused
The perverse level of income inequality in our country and wide indifference to the state of adults and children living on our streets must change. Until then, addressing the problem will take a multi-pronged approach engaging all levels of government, non-profits, and addiction and mental health resources.
Minneapolis must ensure that we reach out to and account for all unhoused persons and do our best to provide for their safety, such as helping them navigate and access the various social services available to them.