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Twin Cities Affordable Housing Conference is Full as Homeownership Faces Growing Racial Disparities

  (May 05, 2014)
Twin Cities Affordable Housing Conference is Full as Homeownership Faces Growing Racial Disparities

Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota (PRWEB) May 05, 2014

The Twin Cities fading success in dispersing affordable homes, according to a University of Minnesota housing study, is becoming more pronounced. The Metropolitan Council Minneapolis says that Twin Cities residents have some of the nations biggest disparities along racial and ethnic lines in levels of homeownership.

Advocates want to improve on past findings that the Twin Cities ranked last among 25 large metropolitan areas for per capita bank branches in census tracts that are mainly nonwhite. Simultaneously, the metro is noted as the most civically active state according to the National Conference on Citizenship.

"Since the values of homes across the Twin Cities plummeted, the Minneapolis real estate housing recovery is well underway in most residential neighborhoods," says Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination. "The Twin Cities region has many assets: it is respected as an educated population, for a renowned work ethic and its sought after quality of life. In the spirit of remaining a competitive housing market, many share the goal of seeing a wider experience of our housing boom."

Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty (RCAPs) are found to be highest in the center and north side of Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, Richfield, and various swaths of St. Paul. According to MINNPOST's article titled Forum input: 'Thrive 2040' plan must specifically reduce poverty concentration, "It's nothing short of amazing that the Twin Cities region, with its rather small percentage of minority families, is so segregated".

The summary of the University of Minnesota January 2014 housing study begins by poising a stark contrast: "The Twin Cities metropolitan area is one of the least diverse and most affluent regions in the nation. It once operated the nations most effective program to ensure education and housing integration and fairness". Seeking to make a fair assessment by comparing relevant metros, it concludes stating that: "Recently the deeply segregated neighborhoods of the Twin Cities experienced an unusually harsh period of decline and disinvestment."

The University's study says that the loss of homeownership status, especially people of color, stemming from the housing crisis were enormous. "A large national study of the impacts of the home losses and foreclosures estimated that $723 million of household wealth was lost in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul in 2012 alone, with another $581 million of potential losses from projected future foreclosures."

"When a change of this magnitude in our Minneapolis household demographics happens so rapidly, it merits our attention to understand its overall impact," adds Thuening. A balanced approach to comprehending our neighbor's plight is not easy and requires a well-researched openness.

On April 11, the Star Tribune article Thrive MSP 2040 plan: The Met Council will burden you now expressed a stark opinion, "This unelected body would play disruptive games with the daily lives of Twin Cities residents, favoring rail over roads and driving up housing costs." To explain, the yardstick of housing affordability is the median multiple the median price of a home in a residential district divided by the median household income. "In the Twin Cities, the median multiple is 3.1, while in Atlanta and Indianapolis both thriving metros with little land use regulation it is 2.7."

How the Twin Cities can find a balanced approach to put affordable housing in the right places is a matter of critical discussion. "With a harmonious agreement that there's clearly insufficient affordable housing in the metro, the studies from the U and Council help add to the pool of information that will further improvements," believes Thuening. Housing developers, housing authorities, home builders, Minnesota legislators, public officials, housing advocates and residents and real estate professionals join in by caring that Twin Cities affordable housing, as complex as it is, if fair amongst all peoples.

The May 8th, 7 am 2014 Minnesota Affordable Housing Conference hosted by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) and the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business is already full. Standing space for additional attendees at the conference of various professionals can be signed up for. Clearly an interest in working in all facets of Twin Cities real estate to exchange ideas and learn from each others successes in affordable housing achievements is paramount.

Contact Home Destination at 612-396-7832 if you wish to buy a Minneapolis - St. Paul area home in 2014. With over 15 years of local expertise helping Twin Cities home buyers, ask for Jenna Thuening to gain her guidance and find homes that met your needs.

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