"Slavery to Sovereignty" scam targets immigrants, African Americans in Twin Cities

With the foreclosure rate in the metro area still soaring, struggling homeowners face a new and more sinister threat - unscrupulous scam artists.  With ads claiming they can help you keep your

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FREE SPEECH ZONE | Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour wants your home

"We're off to a good start with a range of remodels," say the coordinators for the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour. The Tour, in its 23rd year, takes place April 24 and 25, 2010.

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Recession drives housing changes in Twin Cities

All graphs from Minnesota Housing Partnership's December "2 x 4" report

While foreclosure numbers in the Twin Cities seem to have leveled off (at least for now) in the last few quarters, the poor economy has taken its toll on individuals and families in the metro area.  People are taking in roommates, moving in with family, and in some cases, moving into homeless shelters or onto the street, because they simply can't make ends meet.  Homelessness among families in Hennepin County was at the highest level since 2000 in the third quarter of 2009, and Twin Cities rental market vacancies trended to the highest in over four years, according to the "2 x 4" report released by the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) in December. 

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Pawlenty's property tax caps don't work

Property taxes are expected to increase by 3.5 percent statewide from 2009 to 2010 based on preliminary levy information, which is "relatively modest" growth according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.  Contrary to claims from the Pawlenty administration, state imposed caps on local government property taxes--known as "levy limits"--had little if anything to do with the modest rate of property tax growth. 

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Minnesotan homeownership declines

Despite Minnesotans' tradition of high homeownership, Minnesota's homeownership rate has actually declined during the current decade, both in absolute terms and relative to other states. 

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Fighting formaldehyde exposure dangers

Formaldehyde emissions in Minnesota, Minnesota Air Toxics Emissions Inventory, 2005 (source: Air Quality in Minnesota: Emerging Trends, 2009 Report to the Legislature, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is sponsoring a bill to establish national health standards for formaldehyde in composite wood. Formaldehyde is a pickle-smelling, water-soluble gas used in disinfectants, solvents, preservatives, and adhesives. It's found in products such as particle board, plywood, and other wood products, and is also produced when burning natural gas, wood, gasoline or tobacco. 

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Foreclosure crisis continues in Minneapolis

Hamline law professor and Housing Preservation Project (HPP) attorney Mark Ireland doesn't believe that we're going to get out of the foreclosure crisis any tim

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State cuts to drive 2010 property tax increases

City property taxes are expected to increase by 5.4 percent from 2009 to 2010.  These property tax increases are driven primarily by Governor Pawlenty's decision to unallot (cut) the 2008, 2009, and 2010 in shared revenue (aid and credit) payments to Minnesota cities. 

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NEWS DAY | Feeling the cold

Shivering your way toward the end of the year? You’re not alone.

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