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Ward 10 December Newsletter
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Ward 10 Newsletter Banner - Council President Lisa Bender
Final Budget Hearing and Budget Adoption Today!

The City Council will be making final amendments to the Mayor’s proposed budget tonight after the final public hearing, which starts at 6:05 in City Hall. Thank you to for all the feedback and perspectives that have been shared so far! One clear take-away from the public hearings, which mirrors input I’ve heard from Ward 10 for the past several years, is the desire for us to make sustainable investments in community safety strategies beyond policing. I am grateful for Council Member Cunningham’s leadership in creating the Office of Violence Prevention and to his and Council Member Steve Fletcher’s leadership in proposing an additional $1 million in ongoing funds for this important work which we began last term.
 
Budget Amendments to Support Renters


Council Member Ellison and I authored two budget amendments to support the City Council’s work to better protect renters from displacement and poor housing conditions: $500,000 for legal services to low-income tenants in housing court and $2 million in a revolving fund to allow the city to go after problem landlords, make needed repairs, and recuperate the funds. 
There are 3,000 evictions every year in Minneapolis and funding for legal protection helps correct the significant power imbalance for tenants in housing court. Fewer than 10% of tenants facing eviction have attorneys by their side when their eviction cases are heard in court while nearly half of all landlords have attorneys. Pilot programs that have gotten tenants legal representation in Housing Court show that legal representation helps renters facing eviction stay in their homes.
This is a start to work that Council Member Ellison and I are doing to build support for a right to counsel in Minneapolis. New York City has guaranteed a lawyer for every low-income renter facing eviction and estimates that every $1 spent on legal services to prevent evictions saves $5-6 dollars in costs of services that would otherwise be provided. 

Ward 10 Renters' Assembly

Thank you to everyone who attended the renter assembly I organized with Council Member Ellison and the Ward 10 neighborhood organizations. We had great turnout and I am grateful to Inquilinxs Unidxs for Justicia’s staff, and our neighborhood staff and board members who helped facilitate the small group conversations. My staff and I will be reviewing the notes and will keep you updated as work moves forward early 2019!

 
Comprehensive Plan
 
We are on track to adopt the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan at Friday’s December 7th City Council meeting and submit to the Metropolitan Council for approval. I want to thank ward 10 residents for their thoughtful feedback over the last two years and especially the last five months. A number of amendments were made last week during the mark-up sessions and a few more may come through this week before Friday. I authored the following amendments and staff directions: 
  • With Council Member Fletcher, we amended the plan to invest in infrastructure in our neighborhoods that are experiencing growth so that as we continue to grow near transit, we need to invest in safe and accessible transportation options.
  • With Council Vice President Jenkins, we amended the implementation chapter of the plan to strengthen our commitments to racial equity. We also authored a staff direction for City Council to receive regular updates on implementation and evaluation of the plan.
  • I amended the implementation chapter to strengthen our commitment to improving building design. 
  • I amended the plan to create the Corridor 3 district in the Built Form map. This applies citywide to more narrow transit corridors farther away from downtown. 
  • In partnership with council colleagues, I led amendments to the Built Form map and land use map citywide, including Ward 10 amendments to the built form for areas between lake street and 31st street near Lake Bde Maka Ska. 
Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance

We are also on track for passing an interim inclusionary zoning ordinance at Friday’s council meeting. This ordinance will require affordable housing units in new developments. This has been a priority for a number of years and will set the stage for a permanent ordinance next year which will include city funding support for deeper affordability. This is one tool that could result in hundreds of new affordable housing units per year, but does not replace all of the other strategies we are working on, including those that target very low income households. 
4D Affordable Housing Incentive Program: Accepting Applications

The City of Minneapolis is now accepting applications for the Minneapolis 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program, which helps property owners obtain property tax reductions for agreeing to keep a portion of rental units affordable for 10 years.
The expanded 4d program has the potential to preserve 700 or more additional units of naturally occurring affordable housing in 2019. It is one of several strategies the City is deploying to address the affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis.
Program benefits
  • 10-year eligibility for the 4d property tax rate, which provides a 40 percent reduction in property taxes for qualifying units.
  • $100 grant per affordable unit (capped at $1,000 per property).
  • Free or low-cost energy assessments and City cost sharing for solar energy installations and energy efficiency improvements.
  • Payment of the first year State of Minnesota application fee for certification of the 4d property tax classification.
Owners of market-rate multifamily properties with two or more units are eligible to apply. At least 20 percent of the property’s rental units must be affordable to households making 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). For more eligibility requirements, visit the program website www.minneapolismn.gov/4d.
Applications can be made online. The application deadline is Feb. 12, 2019. Contact Dean Porter-Nelson at dean.porter-nelson@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-5237 for additional information.
Hennepin Avenue is Open!

Thank you for joining Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson, public works staff and I as we opened Hennepin Avenue on a chilly morning the day before Thanksgiving. There will be some additional work completed in Spring 2019 but that will not involve any road closures. We are working with the Uptown Business Association to help promote our wonderful businesses.

Calendars

Check out the upcoming City of Minneapolis public meetings and hearings as well as Ward 10 neighborhood associations events!City of Minneapolis Meetings Neighborhood Associations
Minneapolis 311 Graphic
You can use Minneapolis 311 by phone website, smartphone app, or by email at minneapolis311@minneapolismn.gov to find out information, access services, and report issues.311 Phone Hours: Monday - Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday - Sunday: 8am – 4:30pm
 
About Lisa

Lisa Bender was reelected to serve her second term as  the 10th Ward City Council Member in November 2017. She was also elected to serve as City Council President by a unanimous vote of her fellow council members. Lisa lives in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood with her husband Ryan and two daughters.

Contact the Ward 10 Office

Lisa Bender
Council President
Email

D'Ana Pennington
Council Policy Aide
Email
612-673-2210

Tina Erazmus
Council Associate
Email
612-673-2210

 
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