For the past 8 years, we’ve worked hard to move the affordable housing conversation in Ward 1 from "us vs. them" to simply “us.” A safe place to live is a basic human right. I believe that a responsible community makes sure that all its members not only have decent shelter, but a place to call home. I'm proud that I've worked with neighbors and stakeholders throughout our community to bring quality, affordable housing projects to Ward 1 for over 15 years. Here are some of our accomplishments:
Projects completed as Project Director of Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association (HNIA):
- Monroe Village – Opened in 2004 at 1900 Central Ave NE, provides 51 units of quality housing and amenities that allow our seniors to age in place longer;
- Washington Court – Opened in 2007 at 2101 Washington St NE, provides 38 units of affordable housing for families;
- Central Avenue Lofts – Opened in 2008 at 920 24th Ave NE, provides 66 units of affordable housing for a variety of households.
Projects completed as your City Council Member:
- Audubon Crossing – Opened 2010 at 951 Lowry Ave. NE, provides 30 units of affordable housing, including units reserved for those transitioning from experiencing homelessness;
- Artspace Jackson Flats – Opened in 2013 at 901 18 1/2 Ave NE, provides 35 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families;
- Marshall Flats – Opened in August 2017, provides 35 dedicated units of supportive housing for people with HIV.
Our exciting new project in the works:
- Hook & Ladder Apartments – Slated to break ground in 2018 at 23rd Ave and Jefferson St NE, this two-building development will provide 118 units of affordable housing. One of the buildings will be built to high energy efficiency Passive House standards, something that has never been done in Minnesota's climate.
With affordable housing, policy and process is just as important as projects. That’s why I’m also proud to have worked to pass the following significant changes that have transformed the way our city government deals with affordable housing:
- Changed the minimum lot size for construction of new duplexes from 10,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet (the same as a single family house). The construction permits for duplexes have already increased
- Created and supported the infill housing program. One component of the program states that the sale of empty city lots in Northeast will be limited to moderate or low income households (below 80% ami), provide financing, and then provide a deed restriction ensuring the house remains affordable for 30 years
- Passed an ordinance that landlords can no longer discriminate based on source of income (Section 8)
- Started new NOAH program, which provides loan funds so that responsible partners can purchase and manage natural occurring affordable housing
- Reduced parking requirements for developments near transit
- Provided funding for HOMELINE, a program that provides free and low cost legal, organizing, education, and advocacy services for Minneapolis renters
- Continue to encourage density along commercial corridors in small area plans
- Provided funding for Land Trust homes
- Successfully negotiated for more funding for affordable housing than initially budgeted every year since I’ve been in office, including securing $10 million per year over the past three years.
As your City Council member, I look forward to continuing our work together to expand affordable housing while incorporating an ever greater emphasis on energy efficiency, higher standards of sustainable building, and transit connections. As part of the leadership team shaping the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, it is my top priority to incorporate these values into the planning framework for not only Ward 1, but all of Minneapolis.