The most effective way to get more affordable housing is to allow for more housing, period. While I can appreciate that there might have been some anxiety around the 2040 plan, the reality is, restrictions on housing density have contributed to a significant lack of affordable housing in Minneapolis. There’s not a lot of vacant land left in town; near large corridors, the City needs to start building vertically.
Allowing triplexes was a step in the right direction, but Minneapolis needs more housing. Yes, in my backyard (there are already apartments behind my home). Having more residents will help 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 long-term 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.
Another way to make housing more affordable is to pay a livable wage. I support a citywide minimum wage of $20/hr in Minneapolis.
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 who are temporarily unhoused. They also provide a great option for anyone who can’t afford a larger apartment, or who simply doesn’t need a larger space. I support the council’s recent decision to allow SROs in certain cases. But, it still keeps too many restrictions in place that will slow down real progress.
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) 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.
Any new housing policy must also acknowledge our city’s legacy of redlining and racial segregation. Ward 13 is a great place to live. But those of us living here need to acknowledge that we have both the highest percentage of homeowners of any Ward and the highest percentage of white residents. Those two facts are related. As excellent neighborhood organizations like Armatage Reparations & Equity Action (AREA) and Kenny Organizing for Racial Equity (KORE) have taught us, Ward 13 has a long history of redlining and racial covenants that did not allow Black residents to live here.
Those explicitly racist policies are no longer enforced, but their effects still exist. Our legacy of racism prevents us from becoming an inclusive, equitable community to this day. If I’m elected as your Council Member, I will make a particular effort to listen to community groups and residents of color, both in Ward 13 and across the city, and to make changes in order to integrate Ward 13.