Minneapolis 2040 Housing Plan
This is a zoning plan that allows any lot in the city of Minneapolis to have a 3 story apartment building. It is being looked at across the nation as a model. These are the reasons this plan will not stop gentrification and will enable a cruel kind of ‘density.’ Added to this is what to really do about high rents, taxes and mortgages, homelessness and how to stop gentrification:
|19th Century Paris|
1. The plan is market-based and profit-based. It is essentially a gift to landlords and developers. The banks gain either way.
2. The definition of ‘affordability’ is vague. One person’s ‘affordability’ is another's ‘way out of reach.’ Plans like this always fudge affordability.
3. Replacing a large old house with 3 apartments with 1 of them ostensibly ‘affordable’ might displace MORE people. Many working-class people and youth live more ‘densely’ in old large houses than white-collar office workers living as singletons or couples.
4. Tax money (public-private partnership) will benefit private real estate capital. I.E. this is corporate welfare.
5. The national track record for prior ‘affordable’ housing and ‘dense’ housing efforts administered by ‘the market’ and pro-market Democrats is poor and actually has increased gentrification. The Minneapolis City Council is no different.
6. The subtext is that the lowest cost working-class areas of the city with individual houses will see those houses bulldozed for apartment buildings, not in upscale neighborhoods.
7. There is no mention of rent control.
8. There is no mention of building control. (I.E. not allowing tear-down replacement by large, expensive houses that drive up taxes.)
9. There is no adjustment to what property taxes pay for…like education. Property taxes cannot be the source of school funding. Property taxes result in rent rises and increased housing costs.
10. There is no mention of building more public housing or raising the number of Section 8 vouchers.
11. There is no mention of the city stopping the selling of empty buildings to house flippers and developers for peanuts. They should become public housing or cooperative community land trusts.
12. There is no foreclosure bar, especially on illicit foreclosures of houses by banks.
13. Go to Chicago and see how ‘density’ has worked, as brick apartment buildings line street after street and costs are still high.
14. No questioning why rural areas and rural towns are being depopulated while corporations concentrate in urban areas. I.E. capital concentrates both financially and geographically and this plan enables that. Minneapolis is the capital of 5 states, which is the reason behind this plan.
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15. No mention of co-operative housing or community land trusts.
16. Unused park land could be used to install small trailer or shipping container homes for the functional homeless, which is about 80% of the homeless.
17. Nothing about empty properties. Tax or prohibit empty properties run as AirBnB or owned by speculators or corporations as temporary housing.
18. Change laws to give tax breaks to people who rent out parts of their house as permanent housing.
19. Bring industry back to Minneapolis. This lowers land costs.
20. Raise wages by law to an actual livable wage, which is higher than $15 in many cities. In Minneapolis it is around $19.
21. Legalize squats if the squatters preserve the property.
22. Housing is a right. Ultimately all land should be socialized under common ownership. End rentier capitalism.
23. Allow people to sleep in their vehicles in chosen locations.
Basically, few trust the real estate industry in league with neo-liberal politicians to deal with these issues. The verbal cover of anti-discrimination and anti-NIMBYism is just that - a sheen over the real end result.
Other reviews on this subject, use blog search box upper left: “Nomadland,” “Capital City,” “Cade’s Rebellion,” “Rebel Cities,” “How to Kill a City,” “Tales of Two Cities.”
July 17, 2019