Good news, bad news for dogs, cats and renters

spa dog

Photo by James G Miller, used under Creative Commons license

Want to rent in downtown Minneapolis? Latitude 45, a 13-story building with 318 apartments, is conveniently located at 313 S Washington. The Strib reported (back in October) that the building was a product of a public/private partnership , with the state of Minnesota contributing $472,000 for site clean up. Monthly rents run $1300 to $1600 for a studio apartment, with two-bedroom units going for $2500 to $3000. Amenities include a direct skyway connection and a heated rooftop dog oasis.

In contrast, reports the Metropolitan Council:

“The Twin Cities region added only 759 affordable housing units in 2014. This is a 3% decrease from the number of affordable units added in 2013, and the lowest total in our annual data to-date.”

The Twin Cities region added 10,320 market rate apartments in 2014. The number of affordable housing units added each year has been falling steadily since 2003, when the Twin Cities added 5,063 affordable units.

Over in St. Paul, the Dorothy Day Center is fundraising for construction of Higher Ground St. Paul, which will include an expanded shelter to replace the current elbow-to-elbow sleeping mats on the floor. The new building will include bunks and pay-for-stay beds for 278 and 193 small, permanent apartments. A second phase would add more apartments.

In more good news for St. Paul, the non-profit Aeon organization is buying Como by the Lake. That’s a relief for the elderly and disabled residents of the apartment complex. When the building’s 30-year-old Section 8 rent subsidy contract came up for renewal last year, the owner decided to sell. A new owner could have canceled all the Section 8 rentals and opened apartments for higher-paying tenants. The Pioneer Press reported that residents are happy that Aeon bought the building:

“Janet Troutman-Simmons, chair of the building’s tenant association, said residents were largely happy with Aeon, based on how the company has dealt with them so far.

“’They’ve made an effort to reach out to us, to listen to us and have a discussion, and when you’re elderly, that’s something you appreciate,’ Troutman-Simmons said.”

Not so lucky: the hundreds of low-income renters in the Crossroads complex in Richfield. The Strib reported on Crossroads back in November, observing that:

“With apartment vacancy rates in the metro area hovering around 2 percent, landlords have the market clout to raise rents and refuse vouchers, both steps that tend to force out low-income residents.”

A new developer is taking Crossroads upscale and will no longer accept Section 8 vouchers. The renovated, renamed Concierge apartments boast that they are “dog and cat friendly” with “a 10,000 square foot dog park along with indoor pet spa. It provides a community setting for both you and your furry friend. You and your pet will love this exclusive and unique haven.”

.In just Latitude 45 and Concierge, there are more pet-friendly apartments than the total number of affordable units built in the entire region. For the 49 percent of Twin Cities area renters with household incomes less than 50 percent of the area median income — not so much good news.

(If you want to contribute to building the new Dorothy Day shelter and apartments, here’s the link)

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One response to “Good news, bad news for dogs, cats and renters

  1. Pingback: Rich renters wanted — the rest of you can leave | News Day

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