Reducing disparities in housing outcomes was the first project the i-team focused on during its first year in City Hall. When compared to other major cities in the nation, people of color in Minneapolis are more likely to have 30 percent or more of their monthly gross income dedicated to housing, be renters, live in blighted neighborhoods, and experience eviction and homelessness. With this data in mind, the i-team spent several months collaborating with City staff, property owners, and tenants to develop a suite of solutions to increase access, stability, and quality of rental housing options for residents of color in Minneapolis.
“The i-team enabled us to identify opportunities for collaboration – both internally and with other departments – to resolve pain points we had not been able to address previously. Through our partnership, we launched several initiatives that led to increased rental housing quality in the City of Minneapolis.”
– Noah Schuchman, Director, Regulatory Services
The below initiatives were launched in Spring 2016 in partnership with Regulatory Services, 311, Communications, Neighborhood and Community Relations, and the Minneapolis Health Department.
With a majority of higher-tiered, lower quality rental properties located within racially concentrated areas of poverty, the Innovation Team piloted an accelerated tier re-inspections program to incentivize landlords of poorly managed properties to address repairs and increase housing quality in a timely manner.
By calling 311, residents can report problems with the condition of their rental unit when repairs go unaddressed by landlords. Because renters, particularly renters of color, are less likely to know about 311, the i-team partnered with 311 to increase awareness among renters about using the line to report housing violations in their rental properties.
With the relationship between landlords and tenants being a crucial component of housing stability, the i-team joined forces with the Minneapolis Healthy Start program and Regulatory Services to provide education and training to both tenants and landlords in Minneapolis.
Eviction is a significant factor that contributes to short and long-term housing instability. The i-team has been convening city, county, state, and non-profit organizations to create a collaborative plan of action to reduce the number of evictions in the City of Minneapolis.