10,000 signatures reached
To: Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council, State Reps., Governor Walz & MPHA Board of Commissioners
Mayor Jacob Frey, Don't Auction Off Our Homes to the Highest Bidder! Stop Section 18 and RAD
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 households 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 led by Carson and Trump are approving these plans. Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council of Minneapolis who are all members of Democratic Party are also pushing the Trump and Carson agenda even though there is plenty of public funds at the State and city level to keep public housing public and MPHA is sitting on $23 million in surplus.
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 owners 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. Stop Section 18 Disposition and Demolition application to dismantle over 730 single-family homes displacing over 5000 low-income Black families with children. Mayor Frey and Council President Lisa Bender sent a letter to HUD asking Carson to approve the application without notifying public housing residents, residents of Minneapolis or collecting public comments
8. To stop RAD ( Rental Assistance Demonstration) application at Elliot Twins that will displace all of the vulnerable low-income residents on a fixed income. RAD is one of Carson's favorite program that is allowing him to dismantle public housing all over the nation. MPHA has no place for these residents to go to. MPHA is targeting Elliot Twins in Ward 6 because it is located in downtown, and it is near the Vikings Stadium. Converting the buildings into the RAD program will change the buildings from public to private which will then allow MPHA to sell the buildings to private developers to gentrify the neighborhood. This will displace all of the majority Somali and African American seniors and 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 $100,000 per year in 2019.
2. The median income for black Minnesotan households is just $33,436 per year in 2019
3. The average (MPHA) public housing residents, a family of four, working households earn $20,656 per year, and can only afford a 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 the 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
8. According to MPHA's 2018 report, there are 17,346 households on MPHA’s waiting lists. This number increases every year. Out of this number, 7,627 households are on the single Public Housing/Elderly and Disabled list (for single-member households like Elliot Twins), 9,195 households are on the Public Housing Family list like Glendale Townhomes, and 524 households are on the Housing Choice Vouchers (aka Section 8 Vouchers) list. The wait list is between 5 to 7 years.
If MPHA and Mayor Frey plans succeed to push Trump and Carson agenda to dismantle public housing in Minneapolis the current housing crisis will intensity 10 fold. There will be no protection for the most vulnerable population of our city. Rents will increase. Investors will make millions. Residents will be displaced during the conversion process, and they will not be allowed to come back. Thousands of residents will face homelessness, financial and emotional crisis. Private investors will convert the buildings for high-end rentals for wealthier people and receive tax credits to do it. The buildings will no longer be public and they can go up for sale or face foreclosure after the conversion. 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, the 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, the majority of 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 through Section 18 Demolition and Disposition and RAD are approved by Carson and Trump.
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 18 Demolition and Disposition which will be 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 housing which is income-based housing which is the real affordable housing option.
The 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
https://www.facebook.com/DefendGlendale/photos/a.529919710507224/1352510281581492/?type=3&theater. ( waitlist data)