The Affordable Housing Blues . . . or Cheap Housing: Crabgrass On The Manicured Lawn Of Human Desire

Minneapolis photo by Jesse Davila is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Minneapolis, where according to some, City Hall is right to keep cheap housing from happening.

Don’t gimme shelter. Gimme neighborhood slow-taxiing housing values finally lifting off the runway into the free market stratosphere, dragging my house along with with them.

I’m stuck in a down-market, turn-up-your-nose nowheresville ‘burb of trash-filled vacant lots hawking a large-lot tear-down starter home perfect for a custom-built lot-line-to-lot-line monster chateau, but the phone’s not ringing and the ink is fading on my ‘for sale by owner’ sign.

Sure I’m on the housing ladder, but the next rung it’s so high it might as well be on the moon ’cause I can’t trade up ’till the free market tornado finally googles my address and hoovers me up into housing heaven.

Some half-wit sold me that I don’t need no more than a roof over my head and prairie-cold heat and prairie-hot air-con and I got all that. I park the car on the crabgrass ‘n don’t need no porch ’cause I sit out with beer most nights on the back stoop which is good for the knees and beats doing squats at the gym I can’t afford.

Then that guy from the city went green — that’s the color, not the movement — when he trekked through the prefab and left me nothing but stink-eye and mud from the yard on my linoleum floor. Heard that back in the city he slapped a bylaw down on prefabs ’cause these tacky little boxes drag down the housing prices and the free market tornado won’t never suck here no more.

The author of this introduction fully acknowledges that he may not have extracted quite the intended framework or details from the article featured below. Math was never his strong suit. And this affordable housing stuff can wear a person down, particularly yet another combination of a one-way rocket-powered free market elevator, construction pricing inevitability that will forever remain out of reach of half? two-thirds? of all citizens, plus investor red-lining as well as unimaginative city zoning that all conspire towards a leafy enclave of dignified mansions on one hand and a vast frozen mud-yard tent ghetto of steaming breath and manure huddled just outside the city gates on the other.

Hope the following article works better for you.

Read more in the StarTribune: Nonprofit’s math shows challenge of building affordable housing


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