10,000 signatures reached
To: Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council, Governor Dayton & MPHA Board of Commissioners
Mayor Jacob Frey & MPHA, Don't Auction Off Our Homes to the Highest Bidder!
We are Defend Glendale & Public Housing Coalition (DG&PHC), a resident-led grassroots campaign organizing to defend public housing in Minneapolis. We are all low-income families of color, Black and Black Muslim communities, refugees, immigrants, East Africans, elders/seniors, and people with disabilities, organizing together to fight being displaced from our homes through the latest partnership between Mayor Frey and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority ( MPHA).
OUR DEMAND: We demand for MPHA, Mayor Jacob Frey, and Minneapolis City Council to stop all of their plans to convert all public housing properties that are over 6040 units, 42 high-rises, over 740 homes, Glendale, and more to a private ownership Section 8 Voucher System that will continue to displace over 11,000 of the most vulnerable residents who are all low income, poor, Black, Black Muslims, refugees, seniors, and people with disabilities, and 17,000 who are on the waiting list. MPHA’s and Mayor Frey's plans will widen the racial and economic gap, gentrify Minneapolis, and worsen the housing crisis. HUD has yet to approve these plans. The final approval of the application process are in the hands of Mayor Jacob Frey, and City Council of Minneapolis.
We are asking you to create permanent public policy, with city, county and state-wide resolutions, ordinances, and bills to:
1. Stop the conversion of all public housing properties to section 8 voucher system that will be under private building ownership that will displace us where 99.9% of the buildings will be under private ownership/developers. This will be the end of public housing in Minneapolis.
2. Protect all public housing as public housing, and build more .
3. Stop the sale and lease of public housing buildings, single homes and townhomes.
4. Eliminate future displacement, and all privatization schemes by MPHA.
5. Fund public housing as a public good where low- income residents continue to pay 30% of their income for rent.
6. Stop Mayor Jacob Frey partnership with MPHA to privatize our homes including his controversial plans for developers to build privatized fourplexes on public land which will displace us.
7. For the City of Minneapolis' Housing Policy & Development Committee not to accept MPHA's latest privatization plans called MPHA’s “Strategic Vision and Capital Plan for 2018-2020”, which inappropriately abandons provision/mission of public housing for low income/ poor families in favor of housing for wealthier people. This plan will be submitted to the Committee on June 6th. This plan is not legitimate or transparent because MPHA failed to notify & educate all public housing residents, failed to hold public meetings, failed to accept public comments in their board meetings, and failed to give a 30 day notice to submit comments. This all a violation of MPHA's own public engagement policy approved by their board and City's policy. The Committee Members are Chairman Cam Gordon, Lisa Bender, Kevin Reich, Jeremiah Ellison & Jeremy Schroeder.
8. To stop MPHA targeting Elliot Twins in Ward 6, and stop MPHA converting the buildings into Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program that will change the buildings from public to private which will then allow MPHA to sell the buildings to private developers. This will displace all of the majority Somali and African Americans seniors tenants that have major disabilities.
Why is this important?
1. The Median Income for majority white families for the Twin Cities region including Minneapolis and St. Paul is $94,300 per year in 2018.
2. The median income for black Minnesotan households is just $33,436 per year in 2018.
3. The average (MPHA) public housing residents, family of four, working households earn $20,656 per year, and can only afford rent of $512 a month at 30% of their monthly income.
4. The average low-income( MPHA) public housing residents earn $14,201 per year, and can only afford rent of $355 a month at 30% of their monthly income.
5. Seniors public housing residents on social security income earn $9,000 per year, which is only $750 a month, and can only afford a rent of $225 a month at 30% of their monthly income.
6. Black and low- income families can't make enough to keep up with rising rents, and they will be forced out of Minneapolis.
7. Average rent for a 2 bedroom in Minneapolis = $1,984
If MPHA and Mayor Frey plans succeed to convert public housing to section 8 private ownership, it is no longer public, and there are no protections for the most vulnerable population of our city. Rents will increase. Investors will make millions. Residents will be displaced by private investors to convert the buildings for high end rentals for wealthier people. Low- income people's homes will be taken away anytime the buildings go up for sale or face foreclosure. Families shouldn't be forced to pick between a roof over their children's heads and food on the table for their children. Between 2000 to 2018, average income for Black Families in Minneapolis dropped by 40% while rents doubled. The vast majority of renters in Minneapolis are people of color, and 80% of public housing residents are Black. By age, majority public housing residents are seniors and children under 17. There are over 11,000 low-income Black, Black Muslim, refugee, senior, people with disabilities who will be forced out of their homes if Mayor Jacob Frey and MPHA’s plans to privatize and auction public housing are approved.
We can’t let that happen. Privatizing public housing will deepen the racial and class divides already challenging Minneapolis. Flipping public housing into RAD and section 8 privately owned which will then flip to high end market-rate units hurts low-income families, but all Minneapolis families will feel the pain of less available public and income based which are the real affordable housing options.
Private sector shouldn’t use our tax dollars to pad their pockets with profit. Private business and corporations always put profit over people. Private developers want to get their hands on public and low- income rental units and price them to make a windfall off wealthy families and incoming gentrifiers. The most vulnerable among us in Minneapolis – the elderly, poor, people with disabilities, low-income families -- will be displaced. Flooding our housing market with high end market-rate units will fuel gentrification, push out residents and turn Minneapolis into a city catering to the rich.
Keeping public housing under public control means that people come first!
Rental Market Watch: Minneapolis. March 2018. Minnesota Housing Partnership. https://www.mhponline.org/images/stories/docs/research/NOAH-MPLS-final.pdf