Single family zoning, and the scarcity that comes with it, has made housing less affordable for a large number of Minneapolis residents. While I can appreciate that there might have been some anxiety around the 2040 plan, the reality is restrictions on housing density have been a contributing factor to the lack of affordable housing. There’s not a lot of vacant land left in town, in some places we need to start building vertically.
Allowing triplexes was a step in the right direction, but Minneapolis needs more housing. Yes, in my backyard (there’s already apartments behind my home). More residents also helps with spreading out the costs of running a city. Pushing back against housing density is a recipe for increasing property taxes over time. We can work together as a community to keep neighborhoods intact as we add more neighbors.
We also need to be considerate of our neighbors who have been here for decades. That’s why I support Aging in Place proposals that would minimize the impact of skyrocketing property values on longterm residents. We should also provide affordable opportunities for those who want to downsize without leaving their neighborhood. Keeping neighborhoods safe long-term is also a critical piece of livability.
In most cases, homelessness is temporary and may have several stages. Rooming Houses and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) rentals can provide a transitional space for those in our community experiencing temporary homelessness.
Beyond the impact to homeless populations, increasing the availability of small and affordable rental properties will make the city more affordable for those who aren’t currently homeless, but perhaps struggling to pay rent.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) also add rentable space where it didn’t previously exist. The best way to improve housing affordability would be to raise the minimum wage, something that’s maybe not possible statewide, but is feasible here.
Renters are citizens too. We should offer renters in Minneapolis opportunities to home ownership, whether through “opportunity to buy” clauses in rental agreements, or with a greater supply of available housing to make it more attainable.
Rental instability impacts everyone from landlords to tenants to neighbors. Another way to make rent affordable is to pay a livable wage, and I would support a citywide minimum wage of $20/hr in Minneapolis.
I also support the proposed Charter Amendment to allow for placing annual caps on rental increases. Markets are a useful tool when supply and demand are simple, but restricting annual rental increases in the single digits would prevent gouging.