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Minneapolis Public Housing Authority Is Building New Multifamily Housing. Is this a good thing?

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority Is Building New Multifamily Housing. Is this a good thing?

By LINDSEY FENNER When I received the community meeting notice about a new three-story apartment building directly behind my house, my first concern was for my garden, and how much sunlight it might lose. When I realized this was a redevelopment project by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, I knew I needed to dig a little deeper. What would happen to my neighbors living in the existing public housing duplex? How is this project funded? In the very back corner of my mind, I remembered something from a few years ago: concerns about the privatization of public housing. Did that have anything to do with this project? The redevelopment on my block is part of a larger, city-wide project by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. MPHA is best known for the large apartment towers they run. Less well-known are over 700 MPHA single family homes, duplexes, and fourplexes scattered throughout Minneapolis. MPHA is redeveloping 16 of these “scattered sites,” including the one behind me in East Phillips, and several in Midtown Phillips. These existing homes will be demolished and turned into 3-story, 6-unit buildings of 2 and 3 bedrooms, totaling 84 new units citywide. According to MPHA, the current residents, who tend to be working class black and brown immigrant families, will have temporary housing during construction, will have housing in the new buildings, and will not see any increase in rent. MPHA secured $4.6 million from the American Rescue Plan, approved by the Minneapolis City Council in July 2021, to fund the bulk of the planned redevelopments. The proposed buildings were designed by DJR Architects and use a new modular system developed by Rise Modular, based in Owatonna, MN. This modular system is touted to be of higher-quality, more environmentally friendly, and cheaper and faster to produce - which means a briefer period of displacement for current residents. At community meetings, neighbors raise questions about size, design, and [...]

Letter to the Editor: Responding to “Ebenezer Land”

Public Housing: The Best-Kept Secret I think it's worth noting that the summary of the article on public housing that you quoted from us was "The best-kept secret about public housing is that most of it actually provides decent, affordable housing to many people. Properly run, it remains one of the best options for housing the poor." The quote you selected describes not something intrinsic to public housing, but what happens when it is designed and funded in a cynical manner by people who would like to see it fail. I encourage readers to explore the full article. shelterforce.org/1994/09/01/public-housing-what-went-wrong/ Miriam Axel-Lute CEO/Editor-in-Chief Shelterforce

Random Alley News

Random Alley News

By Lindsey Fenner East Phillips Neighborhood Group Partnering with Southside Harm Reduction Services for Syringe, Litter Pickup: The East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) approved $15,000 for Southside Harm Reduction Services”™ (SHRS) “Community Syringe and Trash Clean Up in East Phillips Project.” The funding will pay community members that SHRS serves in gift cards to help clean up the neighborhood of syringes and other litter. Based in South Minneapolis, SHRS “works within a harm reduction framework to promote the human rights to health, safety, autonomy, and agency among people who use substances.”  Public Housing Class Action Lawsuit Filed against City, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority: The complaint against the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)  was filed in  MN District Court in September, on behalf of public housing tenant Kimberly Lowry and other Minneapolis public housing tenants. The civil rights lawsuit alleges “longstanding and egregious discriminatory practices that have forced public housing tenants in Minneapolis to live in substandard and dangerous conditions.” The current Executive Director of the MPHA is Abdi Warsame, former Ward 6 City Council Member. New Program Providing Foreclosure Prevention Advising and Financial Assistance to Homeowners: Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis have partnered with Minnesota Homeownership Center to create and administer the Hennepin Homeownership Preservation Program (HHPP). HHPP is promoting foreclosure prevention advising to Hennepin County homeowners, and limited financial assistance may be available under certain circumstances. The maximum amount available to any household through HHPP is $35,000. To determine eligibility for HHPP, applicants should complete the eligibility form at HennepinHPP.com. For assistance, applicants may call 651-236-8952.  Grants to Plant Your Own [...]

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