…Appears on the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation’s Web blog.

I argue that the residential upzoning policies in the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan won’t really lead to more affordable housing. Here’s a quote:

[The] Minneapolis 2040 plan does something that no other major American city has ever attempted: it shifts zoning practice away from real-estate parcels for single-family use. No, it doesn’t abolish them altogether, thus forcing homeowners to build condos or apartment buildings. Rather, the plan permits homeowners in the least developed parts of Minneapolis to upgrade their lots into duplexes or triplexes. Landowners living along transit corridors will have even greater development options. This policy, referred to as “upzoning,” is popular among urban advocates, and until now cities have only implemented it piecemeal. The plan’s purpose for these ambitious changes includes increasing the availability of affordable housing, reducing rents, and helping realize the mayor’s goal of racial justice.

You can read the rest here.