Reduce Affordable Housing Need in Three Steps

This is part 3 of a series on the interaction between the rental housing market and rents. Read part 1, “How I Set Apartment Rents,” and part 2, “Housing Markets? Humbug!“I’ve dedicated the last 15 years of my life working on affordable housing policy. Mostly, I’ve worked where some sort of subsidy helps make it (more) affordable.In this post, informed by what I’ve learned about the scope of our problem and the inadequacy of existing subsidy programs, I’ll share actions and policies that I think could ameliorate our affordable housing problems.It’s common knowledge we have an affordable housing problem. It might be surprising to learn just how bad the problem is. Continue Reading

Forget about biking to the State Fair

Every year I remember the loveliness of the bike ride to get to the state fair. And then I’m reminded of the horror that is the last one tenth of one mile to the bike corral. This is particularly problematic for anyone arriving on the U of M Transitway, which is the obvious way to ride there from Downtown, Dinkytown, or most of south Minneapolis. Continue Reading

The coming downtown Minneapolis apartment bust – by the numbers

I’ve been distracted enough by the cold and holiday parties, I’d forgotten about the downtown apartment building boom. That is, I forgot until I found myself chatting with an architect working on the apartments part of that giant, recently approved, Downtown East project at a holiday party last weekend. We started talking about what amenities are “required” to have a competitive market-rate building. Continue Reading