Tenant organizing update

On July 9, tenants from 6 distressed apartment buildings in Corcoran owned by The Apartment Shop met with CNO staff and City Council Member Alondra Cano to discuss unresolved maintenance and safety problems in their buildings ranging from water leaking in from the ceiling and related mold and mildew, to rodent and insect infestations, to building security issues. Council Member Cano gathered concerns and planned to meet with the city’s director of regulatory services to ensure appropriate enforcement and improvements. This follows a meeting between tenant leaders and the regulatory services director last month.

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Subprime loans: Round two?

The subprime mortgage crisis was a central cause of the recent recession. In short, lenders were providing expensive mortgages to low-income borrowers at an unprecedented rate. Once the housing bubble popped, subprime borrowers defaulted in droves, which helped push the deeply imbricated global financial system to the brink of collapse.

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Mayor Hodges proposes Minneapolis’ 2015 budget

In her first budget address as Minneapolis mayor on Thursday, Betsy Hodges proposed several initiatives aimed at combating racial disparities and bolstering public safety citywide.

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Minneapolis councilmember Cano meets with 2909 Bloomington Ave. S. families

(Photos by Jay Clark) Young 2909 Bloomington residents greet councilmember Alondra Cano, give her tour of backyard

On August 7, councilmember Cano met with over 50 family members living at 2909 Bloomington Ave. S., to hear about safety concerns and work with residents to get problems fixed.

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City data could help you catch a bus and improve your neighborhood

(Photo by justgrimes published under Creative Commons License)

City-generated data my soon help people track buses from their phones and help monitor problem properties for things like noise violations and landlord abuses. These are just two potential uses that may go public by November under the city’s new open data policy.

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OPINION | View from my porch: Last house standing

This adobe home at 393 Bates, built in 1929, sits on the site of the future Metro State parking ramp. Eminent domain may be invoked so Metro State can acquire the land.

Even as I write this, a community member asks me, “What is the status of the ‘adobe house’?” This 393 Bates Avenue structure is also known to some as the “last house standing.” As cranes, bulldozers and trucks work away in the great pit surrounding this solitary island, some see the predicament only as an impediment to the footprint of Metro State University’s parking ramp. One neighbor noticed activity around the house, jumping to the conclusion that demolition was pending. The lot’s perimeter has been shored up, leading to more questions about the future of the house. I notice changes in the landscape every time I walk past. A gap in the earth – is the digging around the property causing the “island” to weaken? When the hanging flower pots disappeared, a neighbor asked if it signified a dire change; but no, the plants just needed some tender care and watering, so owner Jim Smith had temporarily removed them. To those who watch the house, the flowers serve as a visual reminder that water, electricity, and life still flow there.

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New map shows solar suitability for every rooftop in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Solar Suitability map is a red, orange, yellow, and grey patchwork of the city’s rooftops.

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But what can we do about homelessness?

How do you make sense of the homelessness you see?

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Affordable rent gap widening across Minnesota

Rising rent prices and falling household incomes continue to put the squeeze on housing costs for Minnesotans in the lower income brackets, the Minnesota Housing Partnership found in its annual study for 2014, and the gap between incomes and rental costs are especially acute in rural Minnesota.

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