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Performer Mayyadda singing at the University of Minnesota Juneteenth Celebration “We Are The Noise: The Echoes of Our Ancestors” captured on Saturday, June 15.
Best photos of June '24
Published June 23, 2024

Housing redevelopment enhances communities

We are writing to provide your readers with much more complete, accurate and timely information than what was published in the July 30 Daily editorial, “City housing must be solved,” regarding the implementation of the Hollman lawsuit settlement.

The Hollman lawsuit was filed by the Minneapolis Legal Aid Society and the Minneapolis National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1992 as they sought to break up inner city concentrations of public housing in Minneapolis inner city neighborhoods. Legal Aid and NAACP agreed to the Hollman Consent Decree that was approved by the Federal District Court in April 1995. The defendant parties responsible for implementing this settlement are the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Metropolitan Council.

When we complete the implementation of the Consent Decree and the $200 million near northside redevelopment, our work will produce a net increase in both the total number of housing units, as well as an increase in the supply of affordable housing. This is a very welcomed success story in a highly complicated issue that involves work seldom, if ever, seen before here or in any other major metro area across the country.

The Hollman Consent Decree mandated the demolition or disposition of 770 public housing units and the replacement of every one of these units – with the replacement units required to be located in Minneapolis neighborhoods not concentrated in terms of race and poverty, suburban communities and Minneapolis’ near northside. In addition, MPHA demolished the two seriously distressed Bryant high-rises on the near northside which will be replaced with a new seniors housing facility as a part of the near northside redevelopment. Both of these actions resulted in the temporary loss of 958 housing units, all affordable units.

Implementing the Hollman Consent Decree and completing the near northside redevelopment will result in the development of 1,478 housing units – producing a total net gain of more than 500 new housing units for the city and metro region. In addition, 1,078 of these units will be public housing and other affordable housing units (both rental and homeownership), producing a net gain in affordable housing by 120 units.

Here’s the breakdown of new units being produced – 900 of which are planned for the near northside:

ï 778 new family public housing units

ï 100 new seniors public housing units

ï 200 other affordable (tax credit) housing units, 110 homeownership and 90 rental

ï 400 market rate housing units, 250 homeownership and 150 rental

As of early August, 591 new public housing units, three-fourths of all replacement units needed, have been completed or are underway. One hundred seventy-eight units have been completed and occupied in the suburbs, the Metropolitan Council has acquired 43 more suburban units, and 185 additional suburban units are currently under construction or acquisition. The 80 Minneapolis scattered-site units were completed and occupied last year, and site preparation is being completed for the construction of the first 105 units of the 200 replacement units slated for the city’s near northside.

The hundreds of families who used to live in the near northside public housing developments all successfully secured housing elsewhere. In fact, some 80 families used their relocation assistance to move out of public housing and purchase their own homes for the first time, making relocation one of Minneapolis’ best ever homeownership success stories for lower- income families.

Meanwhile, a local record-number of 83 lower-income, Section 3 eligible city residents have secured jobs (both trades and non-trades) through this season’s Public Works Department hirings and our contracted training program with the Urban League. Former residents of the near northside should be well aware of the Section 3 opportunities available to them. They received three direct mailings, flyers were distributed to the Urban League, Summit Academy and Dunwoody Institute and KMOJ radio broadcast a special live program to the community regarding the Public Works job fair and hirings and Section 3 opportunities. The record number of Section 3 hirings will likely expand even further as the near northside redevelopment unfolds.

Clearly one of the most difficult aspects of implementing the Hollman Consent Decree is that it is taking place during our metro area’s current affordable housing crisis. Demolishing housing was mandated by the Consent Decree issued in 1995 and further approved by the Federal District Court in the fall of 1999, but it was still an extremely painful action to take. We all fully understand Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area needs more affordable housing, not less.

The Hollman lawsuit was filed to provide families with better housing and more housing choice. That’s why we are working so hard to keep moving forward in the most timely manner possible in completing implementation of the Hollman Consent Decree. Doing so will not only increase our overall supply of housing and the amount of affordable housing but will also increase housing choices for families in the area. Increasing housing and expanding housing choices are achievements worth celebrating. It is a real and much needed success for families, our affordable housing situation and our community.

Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, City Council President Jackie Cherryhomes and MPHA Executive Director Cora McCorvey wrote this column. Send comments to [email protected]


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