Minneapolis Launching New Program Aimed at Affordable Housing

October 25, 2018 06:26 PM

The City of Minneapolis is severely lacking affordable housing. The city is very aware they have an ongoing rental problem.

So the city is doing something about it by launching a program to entice building owners to make affordable units within their existing buildings.


"The market is such that right now that we are actually losing affordable housing faster than we can create it," Angie Skildum with the City of Minneapolis' Community Planning and Economic Development Department said.

To stem the tide, the department came up with a program called the 4d Pilot Initiative to preserve affordable housing by partnering with apartment building owners.

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"So what we're asking owners to do is make a commitment to preserve affordability of at least 20 percent of their units at 60 percent of the area's medium income for a period of 10 years," she said.

Skildum said the medium income right now is around $56,000 for a family of four. The city had 10 buildings commit 207 units during the pilot phase. They're hoping for at least 700 units in 2019. And for participating in this program, owners get approximately a 40 percent reduction in their property tax.

Below is an in-depth comparison of the median rent price for a two-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis and St. Paul in September 2018 and other, similar-sized cities (Source: Zillow).

David Crockett owns a 16-unit building south of downtown. He said 12 of those are now locked in through the program.

"I have only two tenants, people that work every day and a couple disabled people. The working poor are a real reality," he said.

Tatiana Vickman said she can't even afford a one bedroom apartment.

"You have to pay an application fee, then you have to pay one month’s rent deposit, and then rental properties require you to make at least three times rent amount every month," Vickman said.

The full City Council will consider and vote on the program Nov. 2. If the program passes, CPED is expected to launch it the same month. The application process for building owners will be from November through February.


Todd Wilson

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