Here are resources to learn more facts about housing affordability.

TEN-MINUTE INTRO! Self-Running slides with audio: “House Bill 2001 Code Amendments Process Reality Check”
Click here for PowerPoint format

David Imbroscio, a Professor at University of Louisville, has published authoritative examinations of housing and race, including both the history of explicit racial discrimination (e.g., “redlining”) and an analysis of contemporary bias in the financial underpinnings of home ownership.

  • Click here for a critical, evidence-based review of Richard Rothstein’s (2017) book, The Color or Law.
  • Click here for a compelling “take-down” of the “Anti-Exclusionary Zoning” (Anti-EZ) movement.
  • Click here for a strong argument that, from a social justice perspective, the attacks on “Exclusionary Zoning” are “imprudent.”
  • Click here for a rebuttal to critics of Imbroscio’s argument against the Anti-EZ movement.

Read The Register-Guard “Guest Views” regarding HB 2001:
Truth in Housing
House Bill 2001 will poison our communities

Click any of the following active links:

Learn the complete details of HB 2001 impacts:
Click to read “Citizens’ Guide to HB 2001”.

Substantial evidence shows that HB 2001 will worsen, rather than improve housing affordability
Click to learn more about the evidence against HB 2001.

Minneapolis provides a clear warning sign
Read a cautionary Q&A with a senior Planning Commissioner in Minneapolis reflecting on that city’s decision to upzone all single-family residential. A few excerpts are below.

Minneapolis’s Residential Upzoning Risks Unintended Consequences
by Alissa Luepke Pier in the June 2019 issue if The Planning Report

“The policy took as its starting point that more units automatically equals more affordability, and there wasn’t any interest in delving into whether or not that was actually a factual equation on which to base major decisions. The policy does not cite any research to support its assertion, nor does it even lay out any aspirational goals regarding the extent of the impact they hope to achieve (such as in anticipated added units, or even in theoretical decreases to housing costs). Without any sort of concrete metric, it is impossible to analyze the policy’s effectiveness in achieving its goal of improved housing affordability. That is convenient when what one is proposing is a vague, one-size-fits-all solution with no real statistical support linking it to its presupposed conclusion.

“We don’t have any safeguards for this proposed policy, and once we enact these rights, they’re grandfathered in forever. There is no contingency plan, no method to test effectiveness, and no metrics for success. The consequences of a policy like this on a community like mine are far too harmful to be glossed over in the name of innovation. Let me be clear: Adoption of this policy without adequate safeguards will cause great, long-term harm to low income families and communities of color, and there is no way to undo the damage once Pandora’s box has been opened.

“We’re seeing investors come in, run the housing stock into the ground, treat the tenants like garbage, and immediately take all their rental income—money that could be invested in the community—out of the neighborhood. This is an immediate capital flight from the community, leaving local residents without the expendable income to invest in local opportunities or support local businesses.

“To summarize: In an effort to alleviate the affordable housing crisis, the city is offering my community smaller, crappier housing for no less money, with the added insult to injury of making it harder for them to buy a house and build generational wealth within their own community. It’s shocking to me that we’re patting ourselves on the back for this.”

Question: As of the last few years, the largest residential real estate owner in metropolitan California is the global equity firm Blackstone. Are similar changes in residential ownership happening in Minneapolis?

“Yes. I’ve heard from realtors specializing in North Minneapolis that they are being contacted by firms on the West Coast, in Florida, Missouri, Texas, and elsewhere who are looking to buy up multiple parcels at a time, sight unseen. Those interests are chomping at the bit for this policy to pass. It saddens me that we would take ownership opportunities away, not only from the immediate community, but from the region as a whole, in favor of global investors.

If you are enacting change in the name of others, it seems morally irresponsible not to examine that change from every possible angle and study its impact on those same communities before pushing it through. We can brand it with whatever buzzword we want, but if the end result is just a perpetuation and exacerbation of housing and economic inequities, should it really be lauded as “innovative”?”