I have been writing quite a bit about housing and the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan. Here are some links to a few things I’ve written:
What is Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)? Simply put, this term refers to older homes whose rent is relatively low compared to the local housing market. Old age (roughly 30+ years) is the key to the affordability of these homes. Why are we losing it? In the 1970s, Minneapolis made it illegal to build apartments throughout much of Minneapolis. If we could go back in time and reverse this change, we would have much more housing on the market. However, the laws of space and time prevent this, so we should reverse these changes now so that future generations have access to enough housing.
President Obama is a YIMBY (that’s “Yes In My Back Yard”). The Obama Administration released a report on the ongoing housing shortage in many major cities across the United States. The bottom line? Build more housing to prevent displacement.
So if Minneapolis needs more housing, exactly how many new homes do we need? I crunched some numbers and 4,000 new units per year over the next five years would put our vacancy rate back to a level where renters have power over landlords. The existing status quo, where landlords have extensive power over tenants, needs to change.
Do you support more housing but are concerned about ownership opportunities? Stagnant wages, cultural shifts, and the rising cost of housing has made home ownership less attractive and less accessible than ever. The Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan cannot change all of that, but it can make things more equitable for the growing number of people who rent.