The voices of tenants and owners, advocates and elected officials raise the urgency and opportunity to address the loss of affordable housing in a new documentary. Produced by Twin Cities PBS, in partnership with local advocates and funders, “Sold Out: Affordable Housing at Risk” reveals the price we all pay when families are pushed out of our communities as modestly priced units are replaced with upscale developments.
As evidenced in MHP's 2016 report by the same name, strong growth among renter households with higher incomes has created a strong incentive to re-position older properties with diverse populations for younger, more affluent households. The new 60-minute documentary provides first-hand accounts from numerous former residents of the Crossroads at Penn, sharing the devastating impacts of being pushed from a place where some had resided for decades.
The impacts of apartment upscaling, like the Crossroads, ripple far beyond the individuals and households forced to move. Through interviews with elected leaders, researchers, educators and employers, the films reveals how the uprooting of families negatively impacts area businesses and local schools as well as the social fabric and economic functioning of our communities. It makes clear that the current housing market fails residents struggling to make ends meet — and all of us pay the price.
There is no single or simple solution but there is one certainty: Ensuring adequate affordable homes impacts the lives of every single resident of the region. From tenant organizing to social impact investing, community and elected leaders are putting forward strategies to keep low-cost rental housing safe, stable and available to the workers and families who play a critical role in the economy and life of the region.
Now is the time to act. We hope you will join us in this critical discussion.
|Watch the full documentary.
Click here for a discussion guide to engage your group in conversation and action planning.
Watch segments (5 to 15 minutes each) of the documentary that focus on the social and economic factors that have led to current housing challenges; the impact on the wider community when families are displaced; potential solutions to the complex problem; and the lasting impact on the families displaced from the Crossroads.
Watch shorts (2 minutes) from the documentary that summarize key issues, including what spurred the sale of the Crossroads; how do apartment property sales impact the wider community; how did tenant mobilize to address their common challenges; and what solutions can address this loss of affordable housing?
Further reading and resources
Sold Out report (MHP 2016): Analyzing data for more than 1,000 apartment property sales in the Twin Cities region over the past decade, Sold Out examines the pace, price, location and impact of apartment property sales across the seven-county metropolitan area. The key take-away: Both population and economic trends are driving a dramatic uptick in sales — and possible widespread displacement through rising rents and tightened tenant requirements.
NOAH Impact Fund (Greater Minnesota Housing Fund): Preserving existing Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing by connecting developers and owner-operators with social impact investors.
Housing Justice Center- Preserving unsubsidized affordable housing
HOME Line- Tenant organizing resources
The Space Between: Unsubsidized Housing's Potential in Minnesota (Minnesota Preservation Plus Initiative, 2013)
Preserving Affordable Rental Housing: A snapshot of Growing Need, Current Threats, and Innovative Solutions (HUD, 2013)
Questions, comments, ideas?