A key issue is that we continue to see housing demolished in the city's poorest neighborhoods. We had about 177,000 housing units in Minneapolis in 1970. Last year, we had 178,500. Yet, we've grown a whole downtown neighborhood of 30,000 people. It's as if housing units are migrating, leaving one part of the city and popping up in another.
The real story isn't about the city's need to be more flexible for developers. It isn't about intransigent neighborhood groups. Rather, it's redlining and its continuing effects. It's about racism and access to capital. It's about crime and people not feeling safe enough to invest in a place. It's about state laws that require a house to sit empty for six months while in foreclosure -- the amount of time when most houses go from habitable to uninhabitable.
CAROL BECKER, Minneapolis
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