Affordable housing offers a vital step toward economic wellbeing and wealth creation for families with low and modest incomes. Both the supply and location of affordable housing are important. Nearby transit with good regional connections provides access to jobs, services, education, health care and other opportunities that enhance quality of life. This better access reduces household transportation costs and spreads limited income further.
What's At Issue?
Current affordable housing stock in the neighborhoods along Washington and University Avenues could come under development pressures, especially as light rail transit investment in the area creates opportunities to live near transit. When this new demand rises in a community, the neighborhood may see increased rents, home prices, and property taxes. Existing residents who once found apartments and houses affordable may find their neighborhood is now unaffordable. Teachers, truck drivers, cashiers, artists, beauticians, fire fighters and nurses may end up moving farther from transit options that were supposed to benefit them. Proactive planning and efforts to preserve and expand affordable housing can help new development support existing communities and limit involuntary displacement.
What We Want To Achieve
- Keep housing options available to residents at all income levels, now and in the future
- Preserve existing affordable housing as much as possible
- Minimize involuntary displacement of existing households
- Encourage policies and incentives to include affordable housing units as part of new mixed-income development.
Groups we support:
The Big Picture Project/Affordable Housing Group — We helped fund this working group to develop a corridor-wide affordable housing strategy and plan.
Central Corridor Transit-Oriented Development Land Acquisition Fund Taskforce — We funded this Taskforce to explore the possibility of creating a land acquisition fund in the Central Corridor.
In many other cities — including along portions of the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit Line — new transit access has increased property values. This effect is not automatic, however, and depends upon a number of site-specific features.
Gentrification isn’t just about what happens to real estate. To minimize displacement, we must also look at how to maintain and strengthen the economic and social fabric of neighborhoods.
Affordable housing conditions, availability, needs, and opportunities vary significantly in the many neighborhoods along the Central Corridor.
- Impacts of the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit Line on property values (U of M research)
- Who will get to live near the Central Corridor Light Rail Line?
Center for Transit Oriented Development Reports:
- Affordable Housing in Transit Oriented Development
- Preserving Affordable Living and Access in Livable Communities
- The Mixed-Income Housing TOD Action Guide
- Realizing the Potential: Expanding Housing Options Near Transit
Many groups are active in advocating for or working toward affordable housing in the Central Corridor.
- Jewish Community Action
- Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
- Community Stabilization Project and Corridor Housing Initiative
- Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
- City of Saint Paul
- City of Minneapolis
- Hennepin County
- Center for Energy and the Environment
- Neighborhood Energy Connection
These groups offer general expertise in the area of affordable housing: