Affordable Housing Now
There’s a housing crisis in Minneapolis for working class people. From rent hikes to unjust foreclosures, so many families live in fear of being priced out of our city. Section 8 waitlists can be endless, and slumlords use the lack of affordable housing to keep families in dangerous living conditions.
A recent study even found that for a median-income black family, there’s not a single Minneapolis neighborhood where housing is considered “affordable”.
Developers pretend it’s a simple issue of supply — but their aim is to build more of the most-profitable housing. In the last two years Minneapolis has added 7,000 units; new housing is being built in the Twin Cities at the fastest rate in a decade. Rents have increased 15% since 2009 while the vacancy rate has fallen by half.. This is the result of the “let the market handle it approach”.
I will be a voice for tenants and working class communities, and I pledge not to accept campaign contributions from big developers.
Tax the rich and big developers to fund affordable housing
With Trump offering tax breaks to the billionaire class, putting Ben Carson in charge of HUD, and Republicans threatening state level budget cuts, Minneapolis must explore ways of taxing big business and the super-rich to fund affordable housing. Cities like Seattle have adopted policies like “linkage fees”- essentially a small tax on high-end residential and commercial development that goes directly towards funding more affordable housing. San Francisco has a “millionaire’s tax” on ultra high end properties.
Build a public option
Instead of further privatizing the existing stock of city-owned affordable housing, like Glendale Townhomes, Minneapolis should expand the public option. We can increase access to affordable housing by building thousands of high-quality, city-owned housing units, built with union jobs, rented at below-market rates, financed by selling municipal bonds and making use of currently vacant city land.
Notorious slumlords like Stephen Frenz exploit the lack of affordable housing, raking in massive profits with substandard housing by banking on the fact that his tenants can’t find an alternative. I will work with tenants rights organizations like Inquilinxs Unidxs to build the collective power of renters and strengthen renters rights at the local level. I support efforts to end Section 8 discrimination, would explore stronger anti-discrimination ordinances to ensure that oppressed groups do not face de facto restriction from accessing affordable housing.
End state preemption of rent control
Minneapolis should have every tool at its disposal to provide affordable housing, which is why I’m calling for ending state preemption of rent control. City council should immediately pass a resolution demanding the state government remove the ban on rent control, and bring a legal challenge to it. Most importantly, tenants, unions, and community organizations need to organize and build pressure to demand an end to the undemocratic state ban.