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U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson: More should follow Minneapolis and phase out single-family zoning

In his first visit to Minnesota as a federal official, Carson said educating more people and fighting off "NIMBYism" or "Not In My Backyard" will be important"


U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said during his first visit to Minnesota on Tuesday that he would like to see more local governments follow Minneapolis’ example of addressing homelessness by eliminating single-family zoning.


Carson said educating more people about single-family zoning and fighting off “NIMBYism” or “not in my backyard” attitudes will be important. The Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance to do away with single-family zoning in December — becoming the first major city in the country to decide to upzone its neighborhoods historically reserved for single-family homes.


“The correlation seems very strong: The more zoning restrictions and regulations, the higher the prices and the more homeless people,” Carson said. “So, armed with that knowledge, we have to work with these various places. And I don’t think there’s anybody that wants to see homelessness and squalor. We just have to start utilizing the facts and utilizing the evidence to create the policies.”


His visit comes as Minneapolis City Council members and advocates grapple with the city’s affordable-housing crisis, as the renter-dominated market continues to cause lament over rising rents and a lack of housing options. The city also faces continued challenges around how to provide housing and other services for its unsheltered residents.


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"U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson: More should follow Minneapolis and phase out single-family zoning"; by Marissa Evans; Star Tribune; June 18, 2019

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