Allfordable Housing and Diversity

All Olmsted County jurisdictions, and in particular the City of Rochester, are suffering from a critical shortage of affordable housing. Rental vacancy rates for market rate units were estimated at around 1-2 % in the 1998 Housing Study prepared for the Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.Preliminary data from the 2000 Census indicates an overall rental vacancy rate of 4% (which may include units under construction or already called for and therefore not truly on the market). By comparisons, the national average rental vacancy rate from 2000 Census data is 6.8%.

     Many area employers need entry level and other lower paid employees to fill the jobs that they are creating.  ......

     Opposition to affordable housing in areas in adjacent to established neighborhoods threatens to exclude affordable housing from newly developing areas. Such exclusion results in a shortage of affordable housing and a community that is segregated by income class. Segregation by income class can lead to de facto segregation by race in our community. Continuing to curtail the supply of land for affordable housing in fringe locations jeopardizes the supply of affordable housing and will result in concentrating affordable housing in a few heavily impacted neighborhoods.

Recommendations

1. Units of local government:

  • support low income tax credit housing and other subsided housing.
  • accommodate private development proposal that include townhouses, apartments, and manufactured housing as part of neighborhood development areas.
  • enforce minimum standards for housing and enforce such ordinances as the Disorderly Use Ordinance in order to address neighborhood concerns about crime and potential impacts on property values.
  • increase the supply of land zoned for lower cost housing, especially providing for mixtures of housing by style and cost.
  • provide for neighborhoods with housing that is integrated by income class as well as by race.

 2. Area Developers:

  • accommodate affordable housing up front as part of well-planned communities.
  • provide for affordable housing as an integrated part of neighborhood development plans
  • address concerns related to traffic and property values. 

3. Real Estate Marketers and Landlords:

  • provide accurate information to new or relocating residents about all neighborhoods, without making assumptions about the preferences those residents may have based on their race or income; avoid steering
  • treat all housing customers equally
  • characterize all neighborhood accurately

4. Neighborhoods and Community Members

  • We need to remind ourselves
    • lower income households are not equivalent to lower quality families
    • that the "goodness" of a neighborhood is not measured by the price of its structures but by the character of its residents
    • that the quality of a community is not measured by the degree to which it is exclusive
  • We need to focus neighborhood concerns about housing on legitimate issues that can be remedied (accommodating traffic without disrupting neighborhoods, ensuring good management of rental housing, and so on). 
  • We need to create  a welcoming environment in all neighborhoods for persons of diver ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Measures of Effectiveness

  • For affordable housing, vacancy rates by price range for owner and renter occupied housing. 
  • For the enforcement of minimum standards of housing and crime-free neighborhoods, crime, police calls, and housing violation data.
  • For segregation, the "dissimilarity index,' which represents the percentage of a minority population that would need to move to a different neighborhood in order to result in an even distribution of the population across the community.  Race segregation in the urbanized area of Olmsted County is quite low compared to other metropolitan areas in the U.S. Dissimilarity indices for persons in poverty and housing styles in 1990, and racial minorities in 1990 and 2000 have been calculated and presented in Appendix 1: Demographics. 
  • Also for segregation, the concentration of minority population, which can determined by calculating the weighted mean percentage of minority residents living in blocks with minority residents. For Olmsted County's minority population in 2000 (based on Census data), blocks with any minority residents had an average of 28% minority residents compared to a County average of 11% minority residents. This level of concentration is low compared with other metropolitan areas in the U.S. 
  • For segregating practices, records of complaints received by the Human Rights Commission related to suspected block-busting, redlining, and racial or other steering.

 

 

21st Century Diversity Strategic Plan for Diversity

21stCentury

Manual Navigation

21st Century Partnership - Community Strategic Plan for Diversity (Under Re-construction).

Back in May 1999 Olmsted County led the formation of a 21st Century Partnership to research and propose what it would take for Olmsted County to be a leader in the 21st Century. This document attempts to bring back some of that information for re-use.

All content on a single page

Manual Navigation

21st Century Partnership - Community Strategic Plan for Diversity (Under Re-construction).

Back in May 1999 Olmsted County led the formation of a 21st Century Partnership to research and propose what it would take for Olmsted County to be a leader in the 21st Century. This document attempts to bring back some of that information for re-use.

All content on a single page