By Ismail Khadar - April 16, 2019 -
Ismail Khadar is an Anthropology student at the University of Minnesota
Excerpt from this astute observer of city policy makers here:
In the Twin Cities metro area the black Area Median Income (AMI) is $33,436, and majority white AMI is $94,300. As such, there’s a deep need for affordable housing within black communities, which are disproportionately impacted by disparities in income and stable housing indicators, particularly seniors and families with young children. Seniors on a fixed income such as Social Security receive $9,000 a year, or $750 a month. The average income of a working poor family of four in public housing is $20,656 per year.
The City of Minneapolis and its developer network are using this $94,300 AMI to calculate the current rents and the rents that the plan is pushing. Instead of focusing on the AMI standard based on the income of wealthy, white residents, we should develop an equitable plan that accommodates our most vulnerable communities. According to Mayor Frey and City Council, renters that make 60% to 80% of their AMI of $94,300 will be considered “affordable,” and developers that rent to (majority white and wealthy) who make 60% to 80% of this AMI will receive all kinds of affordable housing funds and tax credits. Meanwhile, low-income renters of color who make less than 10% to 35% of that same $94,300 are being pushed out of Minneapolis because they can’t afford the current rents. Roda Osman, a writer and a community activist who grew up in Minneapolis, said, “this is not a plan, it is a plot.”
Despite the fact that the plan is being presented as a remedy for racial disparities, it will actually exacerbate racial inequality by displacing low-income communities of color making the “San Francisco-fication” of Minneapolis inevitable.