Minneapolis as a Model for Housing Affordability

Through a combination of policies, the city has managed to limit the severity of the nationwide housing crisis.

1 minute read

April 24, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Sunset view of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline.

Scruggelgreen / Adobe Stock

Writing in Brown Political Review, Jeremy Gold outlines how Minneapolis stabilized rent prices in the city and largely avoided the major housing affordability crisis facing most of the country.

Thanks to a sweeping set of 100 policies implemented at the start of 2020 known as the “Minneapolis 2040 Plan,” rent prices in the city have stabilized in the face of population growth and inflation—and despite higher housing prices throughout the rest of the state.

According to Gold, the four reforms that made the biggest impact on housing affordability are: “eliminating parking minimums; creating density minimums near public transit stations, with higher standards near popular transit hubs and even higher ones downtown; abolishing single-family zoning; and increasing investment in various affordable housing projects, both public and private.”

Those four policies provide a useful model for keeping rents affordable, Gold notes. “Minneapolis has boldly shown a way out of ever-increasing housing prices with a handful of relatively simple policy improvements.”

For Gold, “The starting point of any housing policy, therefore, has to be creating more market-rate housing units in the city center.”

Sunday, April 21, 2024 in Brown Political Review

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