The April 10 meeting of the Boys Totem Town Workgroup involved a lengthy discussion of the March 25 community workshop, which is summarized in an earlier blog. Each of the four groups' facilitator teams reviewed the discussions in their groups and then commented on what worked and didn't work in the format and process of the workshop. We also outlined what type of information still seems to be either lacking or misunderstood about the objectives and process of this work. Our summary of the workshop tries to address the misunderstandings that remain.
The rest of the meeting was a presentation about housing issues in the Metropolitan area, and goals for meeting future housing needs by the City of Saint Paul. The purpose was to educate the work group members on housing issues, NOT to say that we are looking at housing for the BTT site specifically. We heard a history of the interaction of race, poverty and housing and how this history has resulted in the concentration of low income and "affordable housing" within certain neighborhoods. We reviewed the results of the predatory lending practices of financial institutions during the housing bubble and its aftermath on communities of color and low income communities. We looked at the City's Comprehensive Plan (2010 version) related to housing, at the District 1 Community Plan related to housing, and at data in the City's Consolidated Plan that sets HUD housing goals. The latter identifies roughly 50 new low income housing units needed in District 1 as a whole, with an emphasis on such housing being along transit corridors. Looking at people's housing AND transportation needs in combination is vital to creating successful housing.
This presentation was one of many that provide background to the work group as it assesses input it gets from our community workshops. Previous presentations have included one on the Highwood Plan and on demographic change in District 1.
SouthEast Community Org Staff