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The market will not fix Twin Cities' affordable housing crisis.

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  • Developers are building new luxury units in the metro, but they are out of reach for most. Without subsidies, that math won't change. 
  • Related: From the Archives | More Housing, Not Shelters

Carol Becker, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

October 23, 2018 | In “Private market must be a big part of the solution,” (Oct. 18) Federal Reserve Bank executives Ron Feldman and Mark Wright argue that building more market-rate housing will create more affordable housing through simple supply and demand.

If you have a market for bananas and you increase the number of bananas for sale, the cost per banana will go down. And people will buy more bananas and fewer of oranges. Conversely if you have fewer bananas for sale, the price will go up and people will buy fewer bananas and more oranges.

Carol Becker lives in Minneapolis.

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From the Archives | More Housing, Not Shelters, Colleen O’Connor Toberman, Minnesota 2020

We know that housing helps people live stable, healthy, productive lives. We know what we need to do. The question, Minnesota, is… will we do it?

May 1, 2014 | Today, Minneapolis’ two winter shelters will close for the season. This has become an annual ritual for the past few years, ever since two churches opened temporary winter shelters to offer supplemental beds for the rising homeless population. These two shelters house over 100 people a night, who will now find themselves out in the still-chilly spring without other options.

Our first impulse might be to solve this problem by keeping these shelters open year round, but I have mixed feelings about opening more homeless shelters. Obviously, I want everyone to have a safe place to sleep, eat, and connect to services. I want shelters that are accessible to every community across the state and offer sufficient space for everyone in need. It’s (inhumane) to turn someone away because there’s no room at the inn.

Colleen O’Connor Toberman is passionate about housing and poverty issues. Colleen is a social worker at East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, where she assists low-income individuals with benefits enrollment and food security. Her prior experience includes time at Our Saviour’s Housing and several other housing/homeless organizations.

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