Cedar-Riverside neighborhood: Who lives here?

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How many immigrants, and from which countries? Working class or poor? How many families with children and how many elders? Long term residents and newcomers?

The Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota has a program called CHANCE – the Cedar Humphrey Action for Neighborhood Collaborative Engagement. One of the student projects in the Master of Public Policy program is a paper by Jeff Corn and Scott Domansky, Collaboration for Community Development in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood, published online in 2009, which includes this description of Cedar-Riverside neighborhood demographics: 

The population of Cedar-Riverside, according to the 2000 census is 7,545, a growth of 18.5% over the previous ten years. The neighborhood has experienced two waves of Vietnamese and Somali immigrants to the area. The neighborhood is also becoming more diverse: in 2000, 57.9% of the neighborhood was all races other than white, up from 31.4% in 1990. The make up of Cedar-Riversides population in 2000 was: 42.1 % white, 32.2% African American, 0.9% Native American, 15.8% Asian American, 3.7% other and 5.3% two or more races.

According to the Cedar-Riverside Small Area Plan, the neighborhood has seen a disproportionate rise in population with a 12.1% growth since 1980 compared to a 3.1% rise in Minneapolis. Over the same time period the neighborhood became younger, with the percentage of children growing by 18%, while the percentage of seniors was reduced by 36%. The majority of housing units are renter-occupied with 2,547 out of a total 2,918 housing units being rented in 2000. Riverside Plaza and The Cedars Public Housing are high density residential areas to the west of Cedar Avenue, containing over 4,000 residents. The median family income for the neighborhood is below the City average at $14,367 compared to $37,974 citywide median.

High-rise ghettos or urban villages?
Are the Riverside Plaza and Seward high-rise apartment complexes, home to low-income residents for more than 35 years, “beyond merely shabby” and filled with crime? Or are they “a vital and fascinating mix of cultures … a series of villages in the city with the opportunity to begin life in the United States among one’s countrymen?” Our series highlights concerns and facts, featuring the voices and stories of people who live and work in the communities. Click here for links to all of the articles in the series.