Riverside Plaza needs continued help

As part of the area develops, we can’t forget about the large housing complex.

Since 2006, Riverside Plaza has decreased rates of crime, completed renovations and built a light rail stop that provides easy travel access to low-income residents. Heavily populated by Somali immigrants, this area has a strong community feel, which heavily depends on the nearby services like the Cedar Riverside Community School.

Efforts to address high rates of crime and decrepit housing in recent years resulted in some changes. In 2010, the Minnesota Daily reported that the Riverside Plaza towers displayed “unmistakable signs of decay and offer living conditions below the average Minnesotan’s standards” due to mold, broken windows and mice.

Reacting to these concerns, Sherman Associates, which owns the housing complex, invested $132 million on renovating the complex while taking care to keep the historical parts of this area intact.

Despite these successes, problems are still apparent. Residents still voice their concerns that security doesn’t always respond to calls for help, elevators don’t always work, and repairs are slow to materialize.

We feel that as one of most important subsidized housing complexes in Minneapolis, Riverside Plaza needs continued funding, repair work and understanding.

Street repairs have occurred in Cedar-Riverside throughout the summer, and hundreds of additional housing units are set for construction, but we hope attention to Riverside Plaza isn’t lost as other parts of its neighborhood develop.