Housing & Transportation

Buses, rail, biking, walking and, yes, even some driving: DFL transportation plans

BY: - January 18, 2023

The new D Line is a bus rapid transit marvel that mostly replaced the old Route 5 — the state’s busiest bus route — running past diverse neighborhoods on Portland, Chicago and Fremont Avenues in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Richfield and Bloomington. It has only been running since early December. But it’s already been the source […]

2022 in review: Labor strife, wage theft and rent control repercussions

BY: - December 27, 2022

I visited picket lines in subzero temperatures and the high 90s this year, as I documented the surge in energy that workers are bringing to the labor movement. It was an exciting year to cover labor, especially in Minnesota, with its high union participation rate and low unemployment rate. Public support for unions is the […]

Study: Minnesota renters didn’t report surge of ‘informal evictions’ during moratorium

BY: - December 22, 2022

Minnesota renters didn’t report a surge of ‘informal evictions’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota released on Thursday. The findings suggest landlords largely adhered to both the spirit and letter of the law while the eviction moratorium was in effect. At the beginning of the pandemic in […]

As transit agencies cut service, people in wheelchairs get stranded

BY: - December 12, 2022

One day in late August, a Metro Transit driver of a Route 18 bus, which runs between Minneapolis and Bloomington on Nicollet Avenue, told Leroy Mitchell to get off of his scooter-style wheelchair or disembark to make room for riders boarding an already-crowded bus.  Mitchell, a south Minneapolis resident, wasn’t able to. “I said [to […]

4 takeaways on housing as inflation eases slightly

BY: - November 10, 2022

Housing costs, including rental prices, are on the path to stabilizing, but evidence of this won’t show up in inflation measures anytime soon, economists say. The latest Consumer Price Index numbers, which are used to measure inflation, come out on Thursday morning. But the survey used to measure shelter, a large component of inflation, lags […]

White Earth Nation buys troubled Bemidji properties to turn into sober housing

BY: - October 27, 2022

The White Earth Nation finalized the purchase of four troubled apartment buildings in Bemidji on Monday with plans to rehab the properties and turn them into a sober-living environment. The conditions at Ridgeway Court I & II have deteriorated rapidly over the past year after the previous owner, North Dakota-based NETA Property Management, effectively abandoned […]

Interest rate hikes send new home payments sharply upward

BY: - September 27, 2022

Soaring interest rates, driven by the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tamp down inflation, are sending costs skyrocketing for new homebuyers in the Twin Cities region. With a 20% down payment, the typical home purchase in the area now comes with a nearly $2,000 monthly price tag, almost doubling since 2021 — and that’s before you […]

St. Paul City Council passes sweeping overhaul of rent control ordinance

BY: - September 21, 2022

Less than five months after St. Paul’s citizen-authored rent control ordinance took effect, the City Council voted 5-2 to roll back the provisions that made it one of the most stringent policies in the country.  As part of a package of amendments passed by the council on Wednesday, low-income housing will be exempted; new construction […]

As rural homelessness increases, HUD aims money at helping people without access to shelters

BY: - September 13, 2022

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has opened up millions of dollars in funding for groups serving unhoused people in rural areas — an unprecedented move by the agency, say housing advocates. People living in cars, parks, and on the street at night, which the agency labels unsheltered homelessness, has increased across the nation, […]

St. Paul council poised to exempt new construction from rent control

BY: - September 7, 2022

Less than a year after St. Paul voters passed rent control through a citizen-led ballot initiative, the City Council is poised to roll back the signature features that make the current law one of the most stringent in the country. Under a package of amendments the council will vote on Sept. 14, new construction will […]

A landlord let squatters take over. Tenants are paying the price.

BY: - August 29, 2022

BEMIDJI — The apartment building where Rachael Greene has lived for 14 years has nearly been taken over by squatters. Every day, she leaves her apartment not knowing what to expect. The hallways are filled with graffiti. The windows are smashed out. Shirtless young men, high on meth or opioids, wander in and out of […]

Pete Buttigieg visits the bus and the fair

BY: - August 25, 2022

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg got appreciative shouts at the State Fair’s opening day Thursday, before making an idiosyncratic fair food choice that may foretell a battleground state in the upcoming midterm elections: fried Ohio buckeyes. Fairgoers circled around Buttigieg and his hosts — Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Rep. Ilhan Omar — grabbing […]