MICAH In The News

Homelessness & Affordable Housing: Awareness and Action to find SOLUTIONS!

By J.D. Duggan Pioneer Press PUBLISHED: October 7, 2019 at 5:42 pm

“It’s to provide an opportunity for the greater community of Stillwater to better understand the growing number of people that are at risk or experiencing homelessness in the Stillwater area,” said Sue Watlov Phillips, executive director of Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing and vice president of National Coalition for the Homeless.

Affordable housing is on the minds of East Siders
Marjorie Otto, Lillie News, Mon, 08/19/2019

The Housing Justice series, hosted by the East Side Freedom Library, wrapped up on Aug. 13 with a conversation between community organizers, storytellers and state and city leaders about housing.

The goal of the series was to learn more about historical policies that created housing discrimination in the Twin Cities, how those policies affect housing today and how to make housing fair and affordable.

Local Advocates Call for More Affordable Housing
January, 2019 CCX Media video

Local legislators and lawmakers spoke about the need for more low-income housing in the northwest suburbs at a breakfast on Wednesday morning. The Housing for All breakfast is an annual event for the community-based coalition that educates and advocates for stable housing for families of modest and low incomes in the northwest suburbs.

Too Much Metal and Lead in Air Near North Mpls
KSTP 5 Eyewitness News, Video, 10/23/18 03:34 PM

Neighborhood MICAH housing advocate, Ticiea Fletcher, speaks out about the danger of lead poisoning in our community.

Environmental regulators say poor air quality in north Minneapolis is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed within weeks.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced this week that air quality tests show there is too much lead and metal in the air at an industrial park located south of Lowry Avenue and west of the Mississippi River.

With hundreds wanting to comment on Ford plant redevelopment, hearing will continue next week
By Frederick Melo, fmelo@pioneerpress.com, 09/20/17 9:15 pm

Whitney Clark, president of the Friends of the Mississippi River, said the Ford plant site in St. Paul needs more bluff-edge parkland. Housing activist John Slade likes the density but wants more affordable housing. Youth coach Kevin Cunningham said the city’s zoning plan “is essentially to drop a chunk of Manhattan — the isle of Manhattan — in St. Paul."

MICAH Organizer, La Shella Sims, named to Environmental Justice Advisory Group for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Bulletin, 09/06/2016 09:25 AM CDT

Saint Paul, Minn. — Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine, with the assistance of a selection committee, has invited 16 individuals from around Minnesota to advise the MPCA on matters related to environmental justice. The group will provide input and recommendations about ways to incorporate the principles of environmental justice into the agency’s work

Settlement could alter how affordable housing is built throughout Twin Cities metro
By Peter Callaghan at MINNPOST 05/13/16

Somewhat quietly, the city councils of Minneapolis and St. Paul are approving a settlement of complaints that the two cities are violating federal fair housing law — an agreement that could result in broad changes to how the region builds affordable housing.

The Minneapolis City Council voted 10-2 Friday to approve the settlement of a legal complaint brought by the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH) alleging the cities failed to follow a federal requirement to “affirmatively further fair housing.”

See also:
http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-and-st-paul...   and

Authorities, Twin Cities Muslims gather to discuss anxiety after terror attacks
By Stephen Montemayor , Star Tribune, 03/24/16 09:17 PM

Farhio Khalif, MICAH board member and executive director of Voices of East African Women, along with other Muslim community leaders, met with law enforcement officials to discuss anxiety after terrorists attacks.

Law enforcement officials and leaders of the Twin Cities Muslim community gathered Thursday to confront the anxiety that has arisen in the days following Tuesday’s terror attacks in Belgium and the high-profile rhetoric they have inspired

Plans for the meeting materialized shortly after Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz on Wednesday referenced Minneapolis’ Somali-American community as an example of where law enforcement efforts could be concentrated while doubling down on calls this week for authorities to be able to patrol Muslim communities.

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Resident group voices ongoing concerns about Midtown Village
by Bridget Kranz, Wed, 06/19/2019 - 12:00am

The proposal, dubbed Midtown Village, would add 411 residential units to 12 acres of city-owned land spanning Old Highway 8 where the road jogs east toward City Hall. The neighborhood consists of single-family homes to the north and west and commercial land to the south.

Minneapolis officials get an earful about proposed rules on renter screening, security deposits
By Jessica Lee |MinnPost 07/12/2019

Following a series of protests by landlords and rallies by renter-rights groups in Minneapolis, city staff are preparing to release new drafts of ordinances that would change how property owners can screen prospective tenants while also establishing limits for security deposits.

Grim New Report Shows Rent Is Unaffordable In Every State

Laura Paddison, Huffpost, June 18 2019

Plenty of evidence shows how widespread and devastating America’s housing crisis is, but perhaps none quite as starkly as this: There’s not a single state, metropolitan area or county in the U.S. where a full-time worker earning the minimum wage can afford the rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Mobile Homes: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
April 2019

Mobile home living has long been considered a less expensive option for people who cannot afford to own a conventional house; roughly 1 in 18 Americans lives in a mobile home or trailer. The majority of these folks own their trailer but rent the spot where it rests.

In recent years, some of the biggest investors and equity firms have been buying up mobile home parks. Residents are easy pickings as rent and fees skyrocket, held hostage by moving fees in the thousands their only other choice is to walk away from their home and investment.

Opinion: The Crushing Cost Of Rent Should Be 2020’s Big Issue
Mike Koprowski, BuzzFeed Contributor, March 28, 2019, at 10:59 a.m. ET

Since 1960, renters’ incomes have increased by only 5% while rents have risen 61%. Whoever wants to be president should say how they’ll solve this crisis.

Homeless Persons Cannot Be Punished for Sleeping in Absence of Alternatives, 9th Circuit Decision Establishes
Cassidy Waskowicz Acting Director of Development & Communications cwaskowicz@nlchp.org, 04/01/19

Tonight, people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the west coast states of the Ninth Circuit can sleep more safely, without facing criminal punishment for simply trying to survive on the streets. Today, the Ninth  Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an en banc petition by the city of Boise in Martin v. Boise (formerly Bell v. Boise), leaving in place its September 2018 ruling that homeless persons cannot be punished for sleeping outside on public property in the absence of adequate alternatives.

Evicted before convicted: St. Louis Park police order landlords to force people from their homes
KSTP 5 Eyewitness News Investigates, November 20, 2018 10:26 PM

St. Louis Park city records show from 2013 to 2018, the police department directed landlords to terminate the leases of more than 225 tenants—an average of more than three evictions per month—for violating the city's crime free/drug free ordinance.

Yet, a review of court records show more than 150 of those tenants—two out of every three—were never actually charged with a crime.

Former Renters Settle Class-Action Lawsuit For $650,000
Kirsten Swanson KSTP-TV October 19, 2017 10:39 PM

A class-action lawsuit, alleging housing discrimination by an apartment complex in Richfield, has been settled for $650,000. The complex was formally known as "Crossroads at Penn."

New management renamed the units when it took over in the fall of 2015.The rental units, owned by MSP Crossroads and Soderberg Apartment Specialists, came under fire in 2015 when they announced they would no longer accept federal Section 8 housing vouchers.

With too many homeless and too few shelter beds, city funding policy debated
Randy Furst Star Tribune September 18, 2017 — 6:58am

De Andre Hudson got the bad news on a recent weekday evening when he called the homeless hot line at Simpson United Methodist Church, asking if the city had an open shelter bed.

No luck. Every adult shelter bed in Minneapolis was filled, an advocate who was taking phone calls, told him. It meant another night spent riding the light rail back and forth between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Forty others like Hudson would also be denied.

Minnesota housing needs high-level attention
Editorial Board, Star Tribune July 28, 2017 - 6:16 PM

From many quarters, evidence is accumulating that the availability and affordability of housing are not sufficient to keep Minnesota thriving. Consider: Housing for lower- and middle-income workers has been in short supply in greater Minnesota for so long that employers and city officials have become regulars at the State Capitol, seeking funds to spur construction of both discounted and market-rate homes.

Dakota County churches respond to homelessness by opening their doors
Nick Ferraro Pioneer Press January 23, 2017

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