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When People Say 'Functionally Obsolete' but Really Mean 'Redline'

A MinnPost column finds nefarious purposes at work in the use of a couple of the common buzzwords employed in debates about Minneapolis housing.
December 2, 2014, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jeff Skrenes laments the use of a pair of phrases in the discussion about housing in Minneapolis. The offending buzzwords are actually phrases, namely, "functionally obsolete" and "demands of the current housing market." Writes Skrenes: "These two phrases are bandied about by Minneapolis city staffers when they erroneously believe that housing in our community needs to be demolished instead of rehabbed. And they should be stricken from any future use on the grounds that they are employed neither objectively nor by people with professional experience in the sale of real estate."

Skrenes's complaint with the use of the first of these two phrases: "Too often, however, 'functionally obsolete' is used as an easy way to recommend demolition of a property before any serious effort has gone into attempts to restore it or market it to those who would do so."

The article concludes with a recommendation for a word that should be held in higher esteem than any association with buzz, namely "equity."

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Published on Monday, December 1, 2014 in MinnPost
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