Suburbanites who don’t like proposals for affordable housing in the Twin Cities region

The Metropolitan Council for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region is working on plans for affordable housing but a number of suburbanites are not pleased with where the affordable housing might go:

The Met Council sees a growing problem. Its own newly available data suggest that annual production of affordable housing has dropped by hundreds of units since 2010, even as market-rate housing has rebounded.

An advance peek at the Met Council’s proposed goals, to be released late Monday, shows that communities considered to be prime locations for adding affordable units include upper income suburbs, such as North Oaks and Eden Prairie, and cornfield’s-edge fringe communities such as Minnetrista and Lake Elmo…

The target numbers — released this week for public comment, with adjustments possible from now to July — are part of a once-per-decade planning process that will begin in every city this fall. Each must start to figure out how to accommodate the additional units.

The Met Council is under heavy fire for allegedly pushing too much affordable housing into areas with plenty of it already, intensifying concentrations of poverty and perpetuating racial segregation in the Twin Cities.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The region has a history of metropolitanization, a rare occurrence in American cities, as well as an openness to immigrants, yet advancing affordable housing units in middle- to upper-end suburbs may be going too far. As some of the suburbanites in the article note, they moved to these communities to escape issues like this. But, the quality of life concerns they tend to express (good school, low crime, sense of community) seem to be inextricably linked with race/ethnicity and social class. Just a reminder that part of the benefits of having money in the United States is that one can move to such a place that insulates you against interacting with others.

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