‘Market-rate’ development is killing affordable housing

affordable housing

The rental housing experts tell us that as renters move into the newly built “market-rate” apartments, which have higher-end rents, this will open up apartments on the lower end of the “market”—that is, apartments with more “affordable” rents.

As usual, the experts on rental housing are not renters and have no idea what really goes on and how things really unfold. It goes something like this: “Hey, renter. This is Mr. Landlord. Have you seen these new apartments along the Greenway and the Hiawatha corridor? They have rents for one-bedroom starting at $1,400, so I am going to raise your rent.”’

How can these new buildings come into an area and say they are “market-rate” when they are asking for hundreds of dollars above what the market-rate is for the area they are building in? Why don’t they ever take the lowest rent in an area as their market-rate? Why always the highest?

New “market-rate” apartments do not open up lower-end units. What they do is make all rents go up. The new construction along the Minneapolis Hiawatha corridor has caused rents to skyrocket in all of the adjacent neighborhoods. This is ruining the city. Look at what has happened in the San Francisco Bay Area. Letting landlords run amok will destroy a beautiful city.

Allowing all landlords to feed off of these high “market-rate” rents from the new construction is making the entire city unaffordable and pushing out poor People of Color. Those in charge downtown need to stop talking about building more “affordable housing” and address this bogus “market-rate,” which is why all units have become unaffordable.

Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.