Affordable Renting & Ownership

Affordable Housing for All

My Experience of Helping People Find Affordable Housing

I have worked with over 300 families in North Minneapolis to secure employment, affordable housing, childcare, and to enroll them into post-secondary education. Every Tuesday, I facilitated a job search workshop, where I would give Northsiders tips and tricks to finding employment. I even helped many who have a criminal record revamp their resume, prepare for job interviews, and would drive them to Dress for Success to get a new wardrobe for their new job. From 2016-2019, I hosted the North Housing Fair which connected renters to over 60 organizations that provided attendees resources in order to become homeowners.

In addition to everything I have done to help my neighbors find affordable housing, I too went from being homeless to becoming a landlord. I know the struggle and I know how to  provide affordable housing for families in transition. Guiding them from exiting a homeless shelter, to renting from me, to purchasing their first home, right here on the northside. My perspective has layers. Knowing what it’s like to navigate homelessness, being a renter, a homeowner, and a landlord are amazing qualities since every single perspective will be crucial when writing and deciding on rent stabilization legislation, if Minneapolis voters choose to support it in November.

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"Safe and affordable Housing is a human right."
                                                                -Kristel Porter

Kristel's Plan to Improve Affordable Housing

With my experience and passion for helping people find affordable housing, as your city councilwoman, I plan to:

 

1. Provide sufficient down payment assistance to make home ownership affordable

 

2. Provide subsidies so that every first time homebuyer class is free

 

3. Work with and support local developers to build high quality affordable housing (rentals and ownership models). Because local developers live within our community and ultimately care about the overall quality and longevity of our communities resources.

 

4. Always keep our Seniors in mind. They have dedicated their lives to raising children in North Minneapolis, volunteering, paying taxes, serving in leadership positions, and giving back to their community every day. When they are no longer able to maintain their homes they should have quality housing options within their community. They should not have to leave their neighborhoods because there is nothing available to them.  

 

5. Always include our homeless populations when deciding to build something for them and we must have every community member who desires to be at the table and a part of the process, to locate a space for development, how it will be developed, and what programming or resources will be available to them. North Minneapolis is home to the majority of Minneapolis Residents who are homeless and this will continue to negatively impact us until we get this right.

 

Rent Control

 

"To be honest, no matter what my opinion of rent control is, it is up to the community to vote for or against rent control. As I represent Ward 5 city council, I will mitigate any risks that come with rent control or I will promote renters & tenant assistance if rent control is not implemented."

Know what you're voting for... Pros & Cons for Rent Control

           PROS           

  • Housing becomes more affordable

  • Decreases homeless population

  • Ensures social stability

  • Higher efficiency in the overall use of housing space

  • Renters can plan ahead in a more secure manner

  • May assists people with low income by stabilizing affordable rent

           CONS           

  • May conflict with current laws, such as the right for freedom

  • Not necessary in some areas

  • May lead to the deterioration of buildings

  • Landlord may ignore rent regulations or find loopholes

  • Less homes for rent on the market and may lead to housing shortage in the long run

  • property prices may decrease

Kristel's vision with Rent Control and without Rent Control

If Rent Control is Implemented, I will....     

1. Lobby for federal funds which will be allocated by our state legislature to make rental assistance permanent

2. Ensure access to rent assistance programs for renters and tenants, energy efficiency and renewable energy updates and upgrades for blighted communities throughout our entire city, so that renters and tenants are able to stabilize their financial situation when the rent cost increases.

3. Since over 80% of rental properties in North Minneapolis are single family homes, I would support a First Right of Refusal policy for renters while providing them with the resources and tools needed to purchase their home in a timely manner, yet putting a strict timeline as to not allow it to drag on too long. This would help avoid displacement and homelessness while providing our neighbors with the opportunity to build generational wealth.

4. Identify certain properties (like the 300 empty lots in North Minneapolis) and have them come under rent control

5. Give subsidies to local developers in order to build high quality affordable housing needed on those empty empty lots (since a 2X4 costs $20 now), as well as boarded and vacated buildings

6. Give landlords the option to opt-in and zone their rental property as "rent stable." This would allow landlords the ability to preserve the access to affordable housing within their neighborhoods.

If Rent Control is NOT implemented, I will...  

1. Buckle down on slumlords and sit down with the hardworking members of our Regulatory Services department and get a better understanding from their experience around what is working, what needs to be modified, and what isn’t working at all. We need to really dig into why it is so hard to deal with slumlords, and make alterations to how we regulate those entities directly and timely, in response to the gaps in enforcing our policy.

 

2. Support our GOOD landlords. Approximately half of the dwelling units in Minneapolis are rental units – and with those come landlords. If we want to preserve rental opportunities as an housing option, we need to stop vilifying all landlords and start making it easier for community members to become landlords.

 

3. Help tenants build a solid rental history. Not everyone wants to own a home someday, so we need to ensure that more housing opportunities are available for everyone – whether they choose to rent or own. Everyone should feel as though they have a place and belong in our community.

 

4. Support local landlords. At the first of every month rental payments leave the area, causing a massive capital flight (especially in areas like North Minneapolis, which are severely cost burdened meaning that a majority of their household income goes directly to housing expenses). If those rent payments were paid to local landlords instead, those same dollars would circulate 7 times within the community, supporting small businesses and creating jobs nearby. If we can encourage more local ownership, we can support a healthy, thriving community for all.

 

Inclusionary Zoning

 

Inclusionary Zoning is a great idea. It would have been even better had it not contained massive loopholes for large developers from the onset of its adoption. All

large-scale development should have to include affordable units, period. It is not ok to provide a way for developers to pay their way out of cooperating with this policy. The way we can make it possible to finance affordable units is through the removal of required parking. This saves developers an average of around $60,000 per parking stall which they can direct toward the subsidy for the creation of those units. We need to be more creative and begin to demand more bold ideas around mixed-income rental properties. New

developments with more than 30 units should comply with this so we begin to enjoy

having "housing choice" and the opportunity for people to live in dignity throughout our city.

 

 

"We need to think pro-actively about the entire

process surrounding development so we aren’t creating dead-ends instead of real

opportunities."

                                         -Kristel Porter