Manning seeks to ‘turn things around’ on housing shortage

Editor’s note: This is the sixth of The Minnesota Daily’s profiles on each of Minneapolis’ mayoral candidates.

A driving force behind Travis Manning’s campaign for mayor of Minneapolis is his belief that the city is not about buildings, it’s about the people inside them.

“I have strong views about helping as many people as possible,” Manning said. “There’s not enough housing and there are still homeless on the street.”

Manning, a 40-year resident of Minneapolis, works as an apartment manager and cites the lack of affordable housing – especially for lower-income residents – as the most important issue facing the city today.

“I see that people are moving here for jobs and there’s nowhere for them to live,” he said. “People leave because they can’t find housing.”

Manning said he hopes to raise funds for more affordable housing through private donations and federal grants

“I’ll do whatever it takes to get the money to turn things around,” he said. “Without money, it won’t happen.”

Along with securing funds, Manning said he would encourage residents to take interest in the issue.

“I want to put together an exploratory group to look at the housing situation” and generate solutions, he said.

Manning said he thinks the current housing system broke down under Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton because the system has not done enough to create more cost-effective housing.

“No one has done anything about it,” he said. “(Sayles Belton) has had eight years to make a dent in the problem, and it hasn’t happened.”

Sayles Belton campaign communications director Randy Schubring finds this accusation surprising.

“We are surprised at this claim because 4,300 housing units have been built since 1994,” Schubring said. “The city is on track to build 2,100 more as well.”

To improve the city, the mayor needs to add more housing all over Minneapolis, rather than creating more office buildings downtown, Manning said.

If elected mayor, Manning said he would be hands-on and determined to make changes during his term.

“I like to get things done,” he said. “I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and do my job.”

Sheila Gutierrez, treasurer of the Whittier Co-op that Manning manages, said she is confident in Manning’s ability to work with city residents.

“Travis is very good with people,” Gutierrez said. “He does what he says he will.”

As mayor, Manning said, he wants to reverse problems that are deteriorating a good city.

“We’re all in this together,” he said. “I believe that I, as the person in charge, can do it.”

 

Maggie Hessel-Mial welcomes comments at [email protected]