When It Comes to Affordable Housing, Money Matters

Industry Insights

Two recent news items make it far easier to see why our region seems to make so little progress in filling the big hole we have in affordable housing.

First, the city of Minneapolis finally passed its “inclusionary” zoning policy, which requires developers to include a certain number of affordable units in residential projects. It was about when the developers of a proposed historic renovation at Fort Snelling that would create dozens of affordable-housing units confirmed that they don’t have the money they need to do the project.

Maybe the thing these developments have most in common is the good intentions of the people involved — and of course that is never enough.

The Fort Snelling project is one you have likely heard about before, a proposal to create 176 units of housing out of more than two dozen all-but-abandoned buildings at Fort Snelling’s Upper Post.

If the money didn’t really matter, it would be a great story. Finally, here’s a solid proposal to preserve and renovate historic buildings that go all the way back to the late 1800s. While once considered a cushy U.S. Army post, the Army moved on just after World War II, leaving the site lying fallow for decades.

But the money does matter. The money always matters.

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