Updated: Sep 16, 2019
"A new challenge to Mpls. density push” (editorial, Sept. 3) was based on opinion and very little else. The Star Tribune Editorial Board chided homeowners for seeking to protect their neighborhoods with “conservation districts,” selfishly protecting architecture and ambience while depriving those seeking affordable housing and rent relief from badly needed shelter. Was this opinion at all evidence-based?
We have become so familiar with the Metropolitan Council’s warnings of a huge influx of people to the Twin Cities that we accept it without question. If 6% growth in Hennepin County by 2030 seems like a population explosion, there’s little anyone can say to dissuade you.
But the big lies that follow that slight one are the ones which really cry out for proof. These decree that building higher-density housing is going to create more affordable shelter and lower rents! One could respond to this by seeking data about the availability of affordable housing and lower rents in any of our higher-density cities that tried to build their way out of disaster: Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, Portland — any city on the map which has experienced growth. There’s your refutation.
There is not enough room in a Sunday paper to list all of the misfortunes these cities have suffered: Rent control, tolls for entering certain parts of the city, tent cities with questionable outdoor plumbing. Are there any examples in any of these places of rents declining? Is housing becoming more affordable in any of them? Without exception, the answer is “no.”
Perhaps the Editorial Board staff at the Star Tribune should contact the Met Council and ask them for acceptable, honest-to-God evidence — or just use Google.
HOWARD J. MILLER, ST. PAUL