Microblog #70: Minneapolis goes bold

Minneapolis Is Rocking the Boat with a Radical Plan to Make Housing Affordable. And It Just Might Pass.

Over half of Minneapolis renters are cost-burdened. The city expects to add over 230,000 people in the next 20 years, but is currently building just 3 new homes for every 4 new households. The rental vacancy rate is an astonishing 2.2 percent. What’s a growing city to do?

According to Minneapolis 2040, the city’s newly proposed comprehensive plan, the answer is to shake things up—a lot. In its current form, the plan would drastically upzone the city by allowing triplexes by-right in all single-family districts. It would create high-density zones along transit corridors. And it would reduce, or in some cases eliminate, off-site parking requirements.

Planners hope these changes will help alleviate “artificial scarcity” created by historical redlining, exclusionary zoning, and NIMBY-ism. At the same time, the mayor has proposed $40 million in funding for affordable housing, homelessness reduction, and tenant services.

Remarkably, the plan seems to have to support from a majority of council. But how do Minneapolis residents feel about it? Maybe the 11,000 (!) public comments received so far have the answer.

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