A Star Tribune guest editorial from Minnesota Multi-Housing Association chair Cecil Smith

EXCERPT: “Over the last two years, as the affordable housing crisis has worsened across Minnesota, and in particular in the Twin Cities metro area, a patchwork response by governments has been to consider or implement broader housing regulations. This is often a political response to vocal activists who persuade unimaginative policymakers with truly heart-wrenching stories. But the ‘more-regulation’ housing strategy from the city of Minneapolis (and other cities) will not serve those who need affordable housing well over the long-term. Developing and preserving housing requires resources and imagination. The leadership on housing to date has produced a mandate in Minneapolis for rental property managers to participate in the Section 8 voucher program. This same policy is now under consideration in other regional cities. Other proposals are being circulated: ‘Just Cause Eviction,’ ‘Advanced Notice of Sale to City,’ ‘Tenants’ First Right of Refusal on Sale’ and so on. None of these policies actually helps create affordable housing. Just ask residents of New York, Seattle or Portland whether policies like these are working. Those cities struggle with chronic homelessness and unaffordable rents . . . One strategy to mitigate the economic impact of ever-higher property taxes and municipal utilities on lower-cost housing would be to add a ‘This Old Apartment’ valuation to incentivize investment in capital improvements while maintaining affordability in older apartments. Finally, leaders would prioritize government budgets to fund subsidized affordable housing across the region.” FULLSTORY: http://strib.mn/2eAW86g