For the Minneapolis city elections this year, MSPyimby and WedgeLIVE! have drafted a few questions for mayoral and council candidates. We’ve sent them out to all candidates who have declared, and have asked for the questionnaires to be returned in early March. Rather than endorsing specific candidates, we will publish the responses in their entirety so voters will know where candidates stand on housing and affordability. Here are the questions we sent:
1. How do you think the market rate housing development of the last several years has impacted Minneapolis?
2. What policies will you pursue to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing in Minneapolis? Since state financing for affordable housing is limited, what additional funding sources would you seek? What are some alternative policies you’d pursue to remove barriers to housing affordability which would compensate for this lack of funding?
3. The vast majority of Minneapolis is zoned exclusively for single-family homes, while most of the units we currently build are in large apartment buildings in or near downtown. Single-family homes and large apartment buildings tend to be more expensive per unit than missing middle housing (for example, a fourplex). How do we use the currently ongoing update to the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan to allow a mix of housing types across Minneapolis that are less expensive to rent, own, and build?
4. Do you think there’s a place for light commercial spaces like small cafes and corner stores in neighborhood interiors? Do you believe there are other areas where restrictive zoning has led to worse outcomes for neighborhoods?
5. Are there any other issues related to housing or zoning that you believe are important enough to address as a city council member? What specific policy goals would you pursue in this area?