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File #: RES 18-1204    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
In control: City Council
Final action: 7/18/2018
Title: Calling for action to create and preserve housing that is affordable at all income levels, address racial, social and economic disparities in housing, and create infrastructure needed to stabilize housing for all in Saint Paul.
Sponsors: Amy Brendmoen, Samantha Henningson, Rebecca Noecker, Dai Thao
Attachments: 1. Misc. comments for July 18 meeting from website

Title

Calling for action to create and preserve housing that is affordable at all income levels, address racial, social and economic disparities in housing, and create infrastructure needed to stabilize housing for all in Saint Paul.

 

Body

 

WHEREAS the Saint Paul City Council acknowledges the housing crisis in our city and region, and the urgent need to address the crisis as our population grows, and

 

WHEREAS the Met Council has forecasted the need for Saint Paul to house approximately 15,000 additional households by 2030, and

 

WHEREAS stagnant wages, skyrocketing rents, a lack of affordable housing and a 2.4 percent housing vacancy rate are making it harder for Saint Paul residents to find housing and to afford it over time, and

 

WHEREAS the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors has stated that a healthy housing market has a six month supply of homes for sale, and that in June 2018 the supply was at 1.7 months, so Saint Paul needs to increase the homes for sale from 500 to 1720 to achieve a healthy housing market, and

 

WHEREAS the City Council has convened work groups to draft reports on poverty and  homelessness as well as fair housing, and

 

WHEREAS Resolution 17-2064 passed by the City Council in December 2017 directed the Fair Housing Workgroup to develop a Fair Housing Strategic Plan and the Fair Housing Workgroup presented a report titled “Fair Housing Work Group: Status update and policy and program options in response to Resolution 17-2064” to the City Council in March 2018, and

 

WHEREAS the City of Saint Paul is currently engaging in programs and practices advancing Saint Paul’s housing goals including:

-Low Income Housing Tax Credits (4 and 9%), which provide financial support for development of additional affordable multi-family rental units in areas of opportunity and preservation of units in areas of concentrated poverty,

-Inspiring Communities Program which provides financial support to develop additional affordable single family units.

-Home improvement loan program to support and preserve owner-occupied units.

-Rental Rehab loan program to support and preserve affordable, small rental units.

-Participation in the Fair Housing Implementation Council (FHIC).

-Emergency Solutions Grants, which provide financial support of partner organizations serving homeless individuals with shelter and basic needs, in partnership with Ramsey County, and

 

WHEREAS the City of Saint Paul is currently conducting studies and developing policies to advance Saint Paul’s housing goals including:

-Completing a zoning study to develop a citywide accessory dwelling units policy in order to add capacity for more units in residential districts.

-Planning for strategic development of more densely populated neighborhood nodes as part of the 2040 Update to the Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan.

-Creating an Emergency Housing Plan to support tenants who are displaced due to building and code issues as determined by the Department of Safety and Inspections.

-Creating a citywide inventory of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH).

-Expanding the Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Department’s (HREEO) Fair Housing Training Program for property managers and landlords, and

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Saint Paul City Council commits to advancing the following policy changes:

-Requiring all housing projects that receive funding (directly or pass-through) from the HRA to accept Section 8 vouchers.

-Addding more points to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit scorecard for senior housing to assist residents as they age in our community.

-Working with our community partners to increase the use of Tenant Remedies Actions.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council directs immediate changes to administrative policies including:

-Setting an ambitious goal for production of new housing over the next ten years with at least one-third of units affordable at 30-50% Area Median Income. 

-Developing and employing an equitable development scorecard in PED resource team decisions to ensure local community benefits.

-Including Section 8 training in the Landlord 101 required training couse for all new Certificate of Occupancy holders (landlords) in the city.

-Promoting Landlord 101 training to all existing landlords, and

-Implementing the 4D tax incentive to build and preserve affordable units, and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council requests further study and legal analysis from city staff of the following policies or concepts by the end of 2019:

-Tenant protection ordinances including advance notice of sale, right to counsel for all tenants in housing court, just-cause eviction and condemnation assessments.

-Ordinances to reduce barriers to finding rental housing including ban-the-box, limiting application fees and increasing acceptance of Housing Choice Vouchers.

-Zoning studies by the Planning Commission to explore ways to increase density in residential districts including: analysis of increasing the maximum number of unrelated adults from 4 to 5 in units with more than 4 bedrooms; analysis on allowing more multi-unit buildings (i.e. triplexes and fourplexes) in along transit routes and in neighborhood nodes in single-family zoning districts; and reviewing and updating the definition of “family.”

-Impacts and advantages of a citywide and/or targeted inclusionary zoning policy.

-Land trusts, cooperatives and other forms of home-ownership to preserve long-term affordability, and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council requests that the Mayor’s 2019 budget proposal includes significant new funding for:

-An Affordable Housing Trust Fund to assist in the creation of additional units of affordable housing and to renovate and preserve naturally occurring affordable housing.

-A Down Payment Assistance Program to benefit Saint Paul residents who wish to become home-owners and additional support for first-time home buyers.

-An Emergency Repair Fund to make needed life-safety repairs in rental properties in order to prevent displacement (to be assessed to the landlord).

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council requests funding be secured for a staff position to develop a fair housing strategy with a user-friendly dashboard to track and report on outcomes, coordinate between departments, monitor the housing landscape and propose programs and policies to improve housing stability citywide,  and

 

NOW, FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED the City Council directs the creation of an advisory body dedicated to housing stability, under which experts, renters, landlords, homeowners, and advocates may provide input and support to staff and housing-related city activities.

 

 

 

 

 

Date NameDistrictOpinionCommentAction
7/15/2018 1:58 AMPaul Nelson   It is noteworthy that the people to be considered for the study group do not include homeowners. Do homeowners not have a stake in all this? Your resolution says "stabilize housing for all in Saint Paul" yet only landlords, renters, advocates and "experts" are included. Hmmm. What are homeowners to think? +3 -1
7/12/2018 9:12 PMEric Lein   REGARDING "Skyrocketing Rents" --- Please note that St. Paul's new "NO SHARING" trash contract (negotiated with almost zero public transparency and little or no opportunity for public input) will raise rents by $15 to $20 PER MONTH per apartment for more than a few tenants in 2-, 3-, and 4-unit buildings. This time, it's NOT the landlords' fault. Local politicians, bureaucrats and little-guy trash haulers are 100-percent responsible for mandating this unreasonable increase. +1 -1