Housing & Transportation

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 […]

Renters and developers press St. Paul council for opposing changes to rent control policy

BY: - August 24, 2022

Renters, activists and developers rehashed the heated debate over St. Paul’s rent control ordinance during more than two hours of public testimony in a packed City Council meeting on Wednesday. On one side are developers, landlords and union construction workers who called on city leaders to exempt new construction, saying the ordinance that took effect […]

Amid construction slowdown, St. Paul considers sweeping changes to rent control

BY: - August 3, 2022

The St. Paul City Council took up a sweeping set of rent control changes on Wednesday in its first attempt to address the numerous issues that have arisen since residents passed the ordinance through a citizen-led petition in November. The ordinance is one of the most stringent in the country, capping rent increases at 3% […]

Where housing is most (and least) affordable in Minnesota

BY: - August 1, 2022

Minnesota has long touted housing affordability in its efforts to recruit and retain people and industry. Although it still largely holds up, it’s uneven depending on where you live and how much money you make, according to a Reformer analysis of income and housing costs.  For a long time, a rule of thumb for homebuyers […]

U.S. House subcommittee uncovers thousands of pandemic evictions by corporate landlords

BY: - July 29, 2022

A new U.S. House report details how four corporate landlords resorted to aggressive and deceptive practices to force out tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, violating state and federal rules aimed at keeping people in their homes during the public health emergency. Together, the four corporate entities filed nearly 15,000 evictions against renters across the country […]

Mortensen was the sole vote against light rail audit; he also got donations from its project manager  

BY: - July 13, 2022

Shakopee Rep. Erik Mortensen was the only state lawmaker to vote against a bill to audit the Southwest Light Rail green line extension, which is four years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. He also received $3,300 in donations from a Prior Lake man (and his wife) who is project manager for the troubled project.

Tenants say landlords are skirting St. Paul rent control with new utility charges

BY: - July 5, 2022

Some St. Paul landlords, facing soaring inflation and energy costs, are trying to get around the city’s new rent control law by charging tenants for utilities that used to be included in the rent. It’s leading to rent increases of more than 10% for some renters in a city where landlords may only increase rent […]