The three pillars of this administration are improving the lives of our constituents by: expanding access to affordable housing, growing our economy through inclusion and improving the relationship of the police to the communities they serve. But our work does not stop there. See below for a description of how the Mayor’s office works on behalf of the people of Minneapolis.
Mayor Frey has made affordable housing a top priority of his administration. He believes that housing is a right, that Minneapolis residents should have access to affordable housing in every neighborhood, and is implementing policies and allocating funding to ensure that everyone has a safe, stable place to live. The Mayor has four pillars to his affordable housing agenda; production of new affordable housing, preservation of existing affordable housing, protecting renter rights, and increasing affordable homeownership opportunities. To support that agenda, Mayor Frey put forward a historic $40 million in city funding dedicated to affordable housing.
Affordable Rental Housing Production
The City of Minneapolis is growing faster than it has since 1950, and is now a majority renter population. Minneapolis renters are facing increasing housing costs with decreasing incomes, and the city has fewer affordable housing units today than it did 15 years ago. Production is not keeping pace with unit loss.
Approximately 50,000 Minneapolis renter households earn less than 60% of the area median income. Adequately funding and incentivizing the production of affordable housing is one of the City’s primary tools for helping to close the gap between what it costs to provide decent, safe housing and what people can afford.
To help expand access to affordable housing, Frey’s budget increased funding to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund by over $14 million, bringing the 2019 total to $21 million. These funds are used to provide gap financing for the production and preservation of affordable rental housing for households earning less than 50% of area median income, with a priority for units affordable to households earning less than 30% of area median income.
Moreover, Mayor Frey believes in socioeconomically and racially diverse neighborhoods, and that means that affordable housing should be in every neighborhood. The rich diversity of people in every corner of our city is part of what makes us great.
Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)
Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) properties generally refer to unsubsidized multifamily rental housing projects that have at least 20% of the units with rents affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Minneapolis has approximately 30,000 in buildings of 4 or more units, and fewer than 15,000 of these units have rents affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% AMI. Preservation of NOAH properties have become a critical issue given the growing overall shortage of affordable housing.
With Metro Area rental vacancy rates at about 2.7%, NOAH properties have become progressively attractive to local and national speculators intent on maximizing cash flow through increasingly higher rents. Once a NOAH property is up-scaled or torn down, it's lost forever. By investing in preserving these properties, often in partnership with non-profit preservation buyers, we can secure affordability for the long term.
Mayor Frey partnered with the City Council to launch the City’s 4d Program, which preserves affordable homes in Minneapolis by helping apartment building owners obtain property tax reductions if they commit to keep 20% or more of their rental units affordable. The program also helps owners make existing buildings greener through cost sharing for energy efficiency improvements and solar installations. The Mayor piloted the program last year and is now funded in his 2019 budget.
The 2019 budget also includes $4.5 million in funding for the preservation and stabilization of NOAH properties.
Minnesota State Law establishes legal processes for tenants to enforce their legal rights to live in safe and healthy housing, including Rent Escrow Actions and Tenant Remedies Actions. Unfortunately, many low-income tenants believe they must live with the poor conditions in their apartments and homes because they are unaware of their rights and how to enforce them, fear retaliation from their landlord or involvement in the legal system, or lack the time and resources to make their case. For these tenants, having a skilled attorney advise and assist them throughout the process has demonstrated success in improving tenant outcomes in court and improvements in housing conditions. To this end, Mayor Frey launched the More Representation Minneapolis initiative, which pairs pro bono attorneys with tenants facing eviction, leveling the playing field that too often favors the landlord.
Access to Affordable Homeownership
The City of Minneapolis currently owns approximately 450 vacant building properties. These are incredible assets, and can be utilized to reinvest within our communities where a foreclosure crisis and a history of disinvestment have hit the hardest. In addition to the properties, financial wellness, down payment assistance, and rehabilitation loans support the goals of creating intergenerational wealth through real property ownership.
The 2019 budget includes over $4 million in funding for the Minneapolis Homes program, providing financial assistance to create homeownership housing opportunities, facilitate development of city-owned properties, and provide long term affordability of ownership housing.
Stable Homes, Stable Schools
Safe and stable housing is among the most significant out-of-school factors for predicting academic success. Research shows that students who have experienced homelessness are less likely to graduate high school and less likely to attend secondary level education programs. All students are more successful when families have long-term housing, starting from the elementary school years.
In Minneapolis Public Elementary Schools 7.3 percent, or more than 3,000 students, experience homelessness.
Stable Homes, Stable Schools initiative is a collaborative effort by the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), and Hennepin County Health and Human Services to provide funding and resources for families facing the threat of losing their homes or experiencing homelessness. The initiative is also supported by the Pohlad Family Foundation.
Mayor Frey allocated $3,350,000 in pilot funding for this priority initiative in the 2019 Minneapolis City Budget.
The initiative is targeted to the 15 Minneapolis Public Elementary Schools with the highest levels of student homelessness and is intended to support up to 320 families, including as many as 648 students, over the first three years of the program.
The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority will administer the initiative during the three-year pilot with a goal of stabilizing families and connecting them with other permanent resources including employment or other supports.
Economic Inclusion, Race Equity and Jobs
Economic Inclusion is the implementation of specific solutions that unmake the legacy of institutionalized and systemic exclusion of people of color, indigenous people, and immigrants and furthers the economic and social independence of these communities. In principle and practice, this means that these communities are prioritized and partnered with as key beneficiaries in economic decisions.
Tech for Tomorrow: Minneapolis Tech Month
Join Mayor Frey in celebrating Minneapolis Tech Month this April. We have a month of exciting hands on fun for everyone around. Start a career in technology, learn to code, dig deep at a drone camp, explore how financial technology is paving the way to a better life, and more. Join the tech scene in Minneapolis, there’s a lot happening.
Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT): Connecting North Minneapolis to the Riverfront
Upper Harbor Terminal is the Mayor's number one redevelopment priority and we are going to create a plan where North Minneapolis benefits first. Located along the Mississippi River, generally between the Lowry Avenue and Camden bridges, the site is the largest remaining single-owner development opportunity along the River in Minneapolis. The redevelopment goal is to transform this 48+ acre site from its historic use as a barge shipping terminal to a combination of riverfront park amenities and private development.
Despite centuries of economic exclusion black, indigenous, immigrant (BIPOC) people of color have woven beautifully resilient communities. Through the Mayor's new Cultural Districts work, we are prioritizing our investments to strengthen neighborhoods and ensure that great ideas can be brought to life. In partnership with community, we are working to accelerate equitable economic development, public transit, and affordable housing policies, practices, and resources to protect the racial diversity and uplift the cultural identity of communities.
In partnership with community leaders, Mayor Frey, Council Member Cano, Vice President Jenkins, and Council Member Ellison, and a host of staff are building the frame work and aligning resources and policies.
The Opportunity Zones program was established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur long-term private sector investments in low-income rural and urban communities nationwide. The program is based on the bipartisan Investing in Opportunity Act.
Each Governor is authorized to designate 25% of the eligible low-income census tracts as Opportunity Zones in their state. Here is the breakout for our city and state:
- Minneapolis has 69 eligible low-income census tracts, 60 of which qualify as “most distressed.”
- In Minnesota, the Governor can designate 128 census tracts as Opportunity Zones out of an eligible 509 low-income census tracts.
- The Governor also has the option of including up to 5% of census tracts that are contiguous with an eligible census tract but are not themselves low-income tracts. In Minnesota, the Governor could designate up to 7 tracts as contiguous out of the state's 128 designated Opportunity Zones.
This is the first new national community investment program in over 15 years and has the potential to be the largest economic development program in the U.S.
Learn more about Opportunity Zones at:
- MN Employment and Economic Development
- Economic Innovation Group
- U.S. Senate Bill 293, Subchapter Z: Opportunity Zones
Timeline for Opportunity Zones
There are three core stages to this program. We are in the first stage.
Stage One | Zone Designation (Current Stage)
- March 8, 2018: Nominations for eligible census tracts are due to Governor Dayton via DEED. The City of Minneapolis will submit nominations March 8, 2018.
- Governor Dayton’s designations are due March 21, 2018 with an extension potentially available for 30 days (April 20, 2018). The state is in the process of requesting an extension.
- If an extension is granted, public meetings during March will be announced.
- If an extension is granted, Mayor Frey will work with City Council in preparation for a vote on the final nomination.
- If an extension is granted, the nomination will be submitted according to the adjusted deadline
Stage Two | Fund Creation
The first official meetings of potential fund holders are anticipated to take place in April 2018. The goal is to ensure that funds created in our market are aligned with the values of the city, are accessible to homegrown businesses, especially those owned by people of color and that investments facility community stabilization.
Anticipated partners include the City of Saint Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and other key partners including, but not limited to Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, community development financial institutions (CDFI), banks, community leaders, business owners, and developers.
Stage Three | Investor Attraction
The projects, partnerships and funds are essential to ensuring that the funds have a positive impact on our city. We have identified tracts where significant projects are underway and where the City of Minneapolis or other public entities have influence and can provide guidance on developments.
How the Funding Works
The Opportunity Zone Funds use the capital invested to make equity investments in businesses and real estate in Opportunity Zones designated by each state.
Funds may be established by CDFI, financial institutions, even new entities.
What stands to be gained by community and business owners?
One opportunity is to close the gap on funding for equitable economic development in our low-wealth communities. We believe that the economically just way to do this is by working with local businesses, particularly those already located within designated areas and reflective of the community to invest in their company’s ability to grow.
Start-ups, manufactures and technology companies are key to the growth of our city and region and we believe this tool has the potential to provide long-term capital investment to support economic vitality and inclusion.
What has the City of Minneapolis considered in this process?
The conversations have focused on potential impacts to renters and homeowners and our business community, technical aspect of the program, cautions, and strategy. Of particular consideration are the following realities:
- The country was provided a very short timeline to make designations without rules and regulations from the U.S. Treasury. While we want more investment in our city we want to be intentional about any program’s impact on residents and businesses who call our city home.
- Designation of tracts in areas where there is publicly owned land as an additional measure of protection for current residents and businesses.
- Designation of tracts that have projects underway or proposed during the period in which the fund will be available.
What does an investor gain by choosing this fund?
The Opportunity Zones program offers investors three incentives for putting some of their $6 trillion in unrealized capital gains to work rebuilding economically distressed communities:
- A temporary deferral: An investor can defer capital gains taxes until 2026 by reinvesting capital gains into an Opportunity Fund.
- A reduction: The original amount of capital gains on which an investor has to pay deferred taxes is reduced by 10% if the Opportunity Fund investment is held for 5 years and another 5% if held for 7 years.
- An exemption: Any capital gains on investments made through the Opportunity Fund accrue tax-free as long as the investor holds them for at least 10 years.
Give us Your Input
Please provide us with input on the Opportunity Zone program, potential impacts, or any questions or suggestions.
Public Safety and Police-Community Relations
The Mayor is committed to increasing public safety, reducing violent crime, and improving police-community relations in every neighborhood of Minneapolis. This is being done through a multi-faceted approach that includes addressing violence through a public health lens and using community supported initiatives with law enforcement collaboration. Working alongside Chief Arradondo, the Mayor aims to change both narrative and practice in the police department – affirming the Chief’s core principles of trust, accountability, and professional service at the center of every engagement.
Community Policing and Training
In 2015, the Department of Justice selected Minneapolis as one of six cities to participate in the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. Using evidence-based research, the program employs strategies ensuring that procedural justice is baked in to every interaction. Procedural Justice is based on four central principles: treating people with dignity and respect, giving citizens 'voice' during encounters, being neutral in decision making, and conveying trust. Chief Arradondo has structured both policy and leadership so that procedural justice is locked in to everything we do.
Minneapolis police officers now also complete several mandatory and ongoing trainings. Trainings ranging from Implicit Bias, to De-escalation, to Crisis Intervention, are now part of the required curriculum, and are necessary in equipping officers with the necessary tools to succeed. Given the opioid epidemic, all responding officers are additionally now trained in opioid response and equipped with naloxone - the anti-overdose medication.
Enhancing police community relations does not end with training. To improve outreach and engagement, we have instituted Community Navigators and the Community Engagement Team to work directly with residents of Minneapolis to create and maintain more personable relationships.
For the first time in department history, at the request of Chief Arradondo, Mayor Frey committed funding for 2019 to develop a health and wellness program for officers. Positive police-community relations cannot be achieved if our officers, who experience daily trauma, cannot get the care they need and deserve. The health and wellness program will be the first of its kind and provide officers supportive resources to cope with the invisible challenges of their work.
Homelessness and Vulnerable Population Initiative
Mayor Frey insists that our homeless and vulnerable populations should be treated with compassion and a recognition for the dignity of every human being. Chief Arradondo agrees and created The Homeless and Vulnerable Population Initiative in 2018, which incorporates this mindset, and is another part of the Mayor and Chief's shared commitment to procedural justice. MPD now has a sergeant working on a full-time basis with members of our homeless community to better understand their situations and connect people with social service organizations. The Mayor has additionally pushed for an expansion of the Mental Health Co-Responder Unit, which pairs a mental health professional with an officer to respond to emotionally disturbed persons calls and provide outreach and services to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Police are often the first call for people in the throes of a mental health crisis, which underscores the need to both partner and train with mental health professionals.
Body Camera Policy and Data Transparency
The Mayor and Chief implemented an updated body camera policy in April 2018 for police officers, which includes discipline for failure to comply. Following implementation, we have seen a significant increase in compliance, moving from 55 percent to over 90 percent compliance at the end of March 2019.
Transparency, however, does not stop with body cameras. It extends to our practice of providing data and information to the public on a consistent basis. In that vein, data ranging from 2008 to 2019 is now available to the public on the Inside MPD website, and OPCR dashboard data is available on the Civil Rights website.
Public Health Based Approaches to Safety and Policing
The Mayor supports city initiatives and approaches to reducing violent crime and increasing safety by using a public health lens. These initiatives work across sectors with the goal of immediate, positive impact on public safety, and provide interventions to interrupt patterns of violence of harmful behavior in the community.
The Group Violence Intervention (GVI) initiative provides intervention for men who have been identified by frontline law enforcement as part of violent street groups in Minneapolis. Participants hear a clear message from law enforcement, social service providers, and community leaders. The core message is that the violence must stop, that law enforcement is doing things differently, and that law enforcement and the community want participants and their friends and associates safe, alive, and free (out of prison). GVIs three prong approach involving law enforcement, service providers, and community members is modeled from National Networks for Safe Communities at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The pilot launched in 2017, with group-member involved non-fatal shootings for the period observed dropped 55 percent compared to the same period in 2016. The Mayor in his 2019 budget secured funding to expand GVI to South Minneapolis.
Next Step is a hospital based violence intervention program that focuses on youth and young adults, age 12 - 28, who are victims of violent assault (gunshot, stabbing, etc.) and being treated at HCMC or North Memorial hospitals. The program goal is to reduce the rate of violent re-injury and re-hospitalization for youth and young adults, and provide supportive, positive development and holistic healing for victims and families affected by violence by interrupting the cycle of recurrent violence. Next Step has served over 150 participants since launching in 2016.
Other Policy Work
Budget and Finance
The Mayor has also named Affordable Housing, Economic Inclusion, and Public Safety as funding priorities for this administration. In the 2019 budget, the Mayor put forth an historic investment of more than $40 million, from local sources alone, to begin the hard work of ensuring that affordable housing is available in Minneapolis. While this work continues, the emphasis on driving Minneapolis’s economic growth through inclusion will be the focus of the Mayor’s 2020 budget.
The Mayor’s recommended annual budget is a reflection of good governance, stewardship of resources, a commitment to inclusion, and meeting the priorities of those who live, work, and play in Minneapolis. Meeting these priorities is balanced with the economic reality that there are limited financial resources. Funding for core services, such as roads, sewers, and clean water are of the utmost importance in the Mayor’s recommended budget. Potholes need to be filled, sewers maintained, and when you turn the faucet, clean drinking water should come out.
Environment and Sustainability
Policy work on Environment and Sustainability centers on strategies to achieve shared environmental goals and ensure successful implementation of these strategies. This is done through partnerships with community organizations, advocacy groups, city departments, and policy makers. The Mayor has prioritized efforts to mitigate climate change, develop sustainable and resilient communities, and promote environmental justice.
American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC)
The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge provides robust support to 25 award recipient cities to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents. The City of Minneapolis was announced as one of the winning cities on October 29th, 2018 at an event with former Governor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Frey, and Mayor Carter from St. Paul.
Clean Energy Partnership
The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey adopted goals to move to 100% renewable electricity: for municipal facilities and operations by 2022 and citywide by 2030. These goals serve as a strategy to meet the City’s aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate change goals by moving away from fossil fuels on April 27, 2018.
In 2017, The City of Minneapolis established two Green Zones, one in North Minneapolis and one in South Minneapolis. A Green Zone is a place-based policy initiative aimed at improving health and supporting economic development using environmentally conscious efforts in communities that face the cumulative effects of environmental pollution, as well as social, political and economic vulnerability.
Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
In June of 2018 the Mayor’s office announced the creation of the Inaugural Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs – the first in the state – with the hiring of Director Michelle Rivero. The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs provides guidance to elected leaders, policy makers and City staff on immigration and refugee issues. Director Rivero recommends policies to the Mayor and City Council that further the mission of the office and provides input and feedback to the City departments on program development and access to City resources. In addition, Director Rivero works with the City’s Intergovernmental Relations department to coordinate and promote the City’s legislative priorities on immigration related matters.
It is a core responsibility of the mayor’s office to ensure the safety and health of all Minneapolis residents and to make sure that everyone feels pride in our city—that everyone belongs. We are working to ensure we have the public and private partnerships, community input, and core benefits Minneapolis needs for a City ID program. We are currently working to ensure we have the public and private partnerships, community input, and core benefits Minneapolis needs for a City ID program.
Neighborhood and Community Relations
Community is a source of expertise in advising the local government on how to invest in and advance ambitious goals. The City of Minneapolis is made stronger when we collaborate with our constituents doing on the ground work. Whether it is through one of our 83 residential neighborhoods served by 70 neighborhood organizations, Community Based Organizations serving culturally specific needs, or individuals serving on one of our 50+ Appointed Boards and Commissions – we appreciate the drive, dedication and ambition of our residents.
To be included in some of this work, please visit:
Public Health policy work prioritizes equity in the development of programs and services that protect the natural and built environment, prevent disease and injury, and promote healthy behaviors. This encompasses a wide range of work including addressing pollution and environmental hazards, ensuring food safety, promoting positive youth and family development, combating the opioid epidemic, and using a public health approach to violence prevention.
- April 23, 2018 agenda (pdf)
- April 23, 2018 minutes (pdf)
- April 23, 2018 graphic notes by @drawnwell (pdf)
Mayor's Multi-jurisdictional Opioid Taskforce
A coalition of multi-jurisdictional and community partners who are collectively working to develop a coordinated plan to reduce opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose in Minneapolis and to address treatment and recovery strategies that are culturally-specific and evidence-based.
The taskforce is charged with confronting the region's growing opioid epidemic, recommending a comprehensive strategy that focuses on action around the areas of prevention, increasing access to treatment on demand, harm reduction, and reducing the number of fatal overdoses.
On April 4th, 2019, during National Public Health Week, Mayor Jacob Frey unveiled the report and recommendations with a clear statement that the opioid epidemic is a public health emergency. The recommendations are the product of a year-long collaboration between city leaders, county officials, opioid policy experts, community members impacted by the opioid epidemic, and advocates for a stronger approach to the epidemic.
The first meeting of the Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids was held April 23. Mayor Frey opened the meeting by welcoming the group and thanking them for their participation. All of the task force members then discussed their professional expertise and individual strengths. This exercise made it possible to combine their diverse backgrounds to identify existing programs, barriers, and strengths. Finally, four subcommittees were formed to address the identified barriers and build on existing programming and strengths.
The final meeting of the Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids was held February 21. The Mayor's staff is working on a report to bring forward the recommendations as discussed by the Task Force to the Mayor.
The Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids was composed of four subcommittees. These groups met on a monthly basis and focused on a particular aspect of the opioid epidemic. For more information, please visit the following pages.
Ensuring that justice is equitable and flexible with the child protection and criminal justice systems.
Striving to eliminate the barriers and gaps that prevent a comprehensive community-based approach that honors the dignity of the individuals, families, and communities most impacted by the opioid crisis.
Providing a prevention action plan to address addiction using the three areas of prevention - primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Eradicating the stigma associated with the disease of addiction and recovery and provide easier access to treatment, recovery services, and ongoing support to Minneapolis residents who are struggling with opioid use and/or misuse.
Office of Violence Prevention
The Office of Violence Prevention provides strategic direction and coordination for the City of Minneapolis to reduce the risk of violence throughout the city.
The City of Minneapolis established a Violence Prevention Steering Committee to advise and work on matters related to violence reduction and prevention in Minneapolis and oversee the City’s comprehensive violence prevention strategic plan and its implementation.
Fast Track Cities Initiative
Fast-Track Cities is a world-wide partnership committed to diagnosing and treating people living with HIV, with an effort to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020. On March 9th, 2018 Minneapolis became the first in Minnesota to sign the Fast-Track declaration aiming to end the HIV epidemic
Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN)
CCCN is a partnership between the National League of Cities and the Children & Nature Network with the goal of increasing access of nature to children. Minneapolis is a CCCN Cohort City.
Transportation / Public Works
Support Public Works Department in building, operating, and maintaining the public infrastructure and providing services to the public in Minneapolis. Collaborate with Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County and other jurisdictions where regional coordination is needed.
Building a more inclusive economy is central to my administration – and that means engaging communities that have traditionally not been at the table. It also means being strategic about how we target our investments and create opportunities. Transit is the great equalizer. Access to transit can quite literally be the key to accessing a better life for yourself and for your family. In Minneapolis we also see transit as a key to reversing trends in racial disparities, undoing institutional racism, and making sure that a person’s ZIP code matters less than a person’s work ethic.
And failing to invest in transportation means we are failing Minneapolis families. Transportation is one of the top two household costs, typically accounting for approximately 16% of household income in Minneapolis.
Moreover, the market is telling us that demand is in public transit: Automobile sales to Americans under the age of 30 dropped by 30 percent in just the five-year span from 2007 to 2012. 30 percent in five years.
Transportation Action Plan
Minneapolis is currently planning for the future of our transportation system. The 10-year transportation action plan guides future planning, design, and implementation of transportation projects. It will be forward-thinking and responsive to our growing City, changing needs in transportation and the rapid pace of advancement in technology. Visit the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan website for more info and to get involved.
Vision Zero Action Plan
The City of Minneapolis has joined the national Vision Zero movement to eliminate deaths and life-altering injuries on our streets. It is unacceptable that people die in traffic crashes on our streets. Together, we can prevent severe injuries and deaths caused by traffic crashes.
To reach this ambitious goal, we are working with people from across our community to develop a Minneapolis Vision Zero Action Plan. The Action Plan will set our path to achieve a safe transportation network for all people. We expect to release a draft plan in fall 2019.
The City of Minneapolis committed to Vision Zero in September 2017 through adoption of a City Council resolution. The Vision Zero Action Plan is being coordinated with the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan, which is a 10-year action plan to guide future planning, design, and implementation of transportation projects for all people in all the ways they move around. Both Action Plans provide implementation details for the vision set forth in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which also identified Vision Zero as a policy. Visit the Minneapolis vision zero website for more details and to get involved.
Last updated Feb 6, 2020