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Action Requested before Friday, April 19, 2019

Ask Your City Council Member to Support Phase III of Seward Commons

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Seward Commons History

Phase I:  Rising Cedars

  • 40 units of affordable housing for people with persistent mental illness
  • Featuring offices for Touchstone Mental Health, a fitness center, and gardens.
  • Built in 2012

Phase II: The Cooperage Senior Apartments

  • 60 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors
  • Completed in 2013

Phase III

  • Wadaag Commons
    • 32 units of affordable housing
    • A partnership with Noor Development
    • Half of the units will be 3- and 4-bedrooms
  • Bessemer at Seward Commons
    • 128 dwelling units without income restrictions
    • The first market-rate rental units built in Seward in more than 35 years

Phase III meets city affordability
requirements

The City’s Unified Housing Policy states that “assistance will only be considered to support buildings or phases that include affordable housing for at least 20 percent of the units.” Phase III is a two-building, 160-unit project that includes 20% (32 units) affordable to occupants making 30-60% of the area median income (AMI).

Seward Redesign and the City of Minneapolis signed a redevelopment contract in 2009, which committed to reviewing affordability requirements across the whole redevelopment site. If Phase III is approved and constructed, more than half of the units from all three phases will be affordable (132 units of affordable housing, and 128 units of market-rate housing).

Seward’s housing shortage is squeezing renters

Only 0.5% of Seward’s total housing stock is for sale or for rent. 5% vacancy is considered balanced, and ideally, a higher vacancy rate would increase the power of tenants in the market. The private market is failing to allocate housing to where people need it.

Using Tax Increment Financing to support transit-oriented development where market-rate housing hasn’t been built since 1983 would ease Seward’s housing crunch.