How Twin Cities housing rules keep the metro segregated

August 8, 2021 ☼ housingracism

Source: Star Tribune - Link

The opposition to multifamily housing — and to the people who need to live there — that Stroder ­witnessed that night stems in part from decades of local government land-use rules that prioritize single-family housing . Today, however, these rules are increasingly viewed as a major reason that Black and Latino families are essentially shut out of the vast majority of the Twin Cities.

An interesting article. How can folks become upwardly mobile when a huge chunk of their income is devoted to housing? It makes choosing a single-family home untenable for many people. Those people tend to be people of color, mostly Black. This single-family housing bias effectively excludes these folks.

Higher density housing might bring some benefits such as locally-owned walkable neighborhood businesses.

In the early 1900s, city planners — supported by federal housing authorities — wanted to protect all-white neighborhoods that had been created by racially explicit zoning after the Supreme Court ruled those laws unconstitutional. They realized that they could achieve the same goal by barring multifamily housing from those areas since most Black people at the time could not afford to buy a home.

“The problem is that from the very beginning, zoning has treated multifamily housing as akin to a pollutant,” Rothwell said. “It was taken for granted that if you were a well-off or a white family, your children were at risk if they were near a multifamily housing complex.”