Housing is the foundation for success, and we’ve made a lot of progress over the past few years.The role of the city on the issue of affordable housing is to be a partner with those who are doing the work of locating, funding and building affordable properties in our city. We also have a responsibility to those currently living in affordable units use our licensing and inspections tools to assure that their units meet our regulatory requirements so that they may live in safety with dignity. As the Chair of the Community Development Committee, I fought for expanded investments to help those in need find a home- and together, we:
Created the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Expanded our financial commitment to Affordable Housing to more than $100 million per year.
Redefined affordability at 30 to 60% of the area median income.
Produced or preserved more than 10,000 units of affordable housing at or below 60% the Annual Median Income.
Produced or preserved 4,000 units of affordable housing at or below 30% the Annual Median Income.
I also work to support solutions to create homes for our neighbors, and that work continues.
I have helped create or preserve thousands of units of affordable housing, including locating projects in the Seventh Ward, which include Lydia Apartments, Emanuel Housing, St. Barnabas, the expansion of the Bridge for Youth. and the Youthlink development Downtown View, which broke ground in March. Downtown View is an opportunity to create housing for homeless youth who are sleeping on the streets of Uptown right now. Youth in stable housing are less likely to experience disruption in their education or adverse physical or mental health. No child in Minneapolis should go homeless and be left to sleep on the floor.
We also need to be as proactive as possible to protect our most vulnerable neighbors from the unfortunate side effects of growth: low vacancy rates, limited affordable home ownership options, rising rents, and conversions of affordable housing to market rate with minimal protections for tenants.
Addressing this last issue is a focus for me. I am acutely aware of claims that new owners of some buildings illegally push out residents in hopes that they can attract new tenants who can pay higher rents. This year alone, I co-authored an ordinance to protect people who use Section 8 housing vouchers from discrimination by landlords, and I am chief author of a policy to ensure the city and our partners in the nonprofit housing community have the best opportunity to preserve properties that are likely to be marked up to market rate.
Under my leadership, there isn’t another city in the metro area that can show Minneapolis’ level of commitment to serving the lowest income residents. I have consistently done the work to create opportunities for affordable housing, and I continue to lead the charge on renters’ rights and initiatives to ensure Minneapolis stays affordable because no matter where or who you are, you deserve a home.
I promise that I will continue to champion our efforts to ensure that affordable and safe housing is available to everyone in Minneapolis. I get things done, and I’m asking for your support so I can continue this work for our community.