Minneapolis City Council recently voted unanimously to upzone the city, part of its larger Minneapolis 2040 plan to address housing affordability, public and environment health concerns, and job and population growth.
The city is now the first to totally eliminate single-family zoning, and offers cities around the country a smart model for evolving cities into the future. Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather says, “It is a bold step by Minneapolis to end a policy that has historically contributed to segregation and inequality along economic and racial lines,” adding, “Eliminating strict zoning restrictions citywide rather than attempting to change regulations neighborhood by neighborhood is perhaps the most fair and efficient way to make room for healthy growth.”
Minneapolis is already one of the most affordable major cities in the U.S., as more than four out of five homes for sale in 2018 were affordable to locals earning the median household income. Minneapolis is also one of the cities with the highest rates of homeownership for low-income families. Before the change, more than half of Minneapolis was zoned for single-family housing only. Now, homes as large as duplexes or triplexes will be allowed in all neighborhoods, tripling the potential capacity of the formerly single-family zones and doubling the city’s overall housing potential.