Working for a Minneapolis where each of us has the freedom and opportunity to reach our individual potentials while caring for one another, improving our environment and promoting social well-being.
Focused not only on our immediate needs, but also on the future we want for ourselves, our children and for generations to come.
Dedicated to using the values of Social and Economic Justice, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Peace, Community Based Economics, and Respect for Diversity to guide his work.
For the latest news from Cam Gordon, see the Second Ward e-Update.
The Second Ward occupies the Eastern-Central part of Minneapolis and straddles the East and West banks of the iconic Mississippi River gorge. It includes a diverse mix of residential, institutional, industrial and commercial land uses with some of the highest density housing outside of downtown, flourishing low density residential neighborhoods, thriving and underutilized industrial areas and major commercial corridors like University Ave and East Lake Street. It is also home to several significant institutions including the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. For more information about the people and places of Ward 2, see our Ward 2 Planning Department Profile and our Regulatory Services 2016 Report.
Addressing Housing Instability and Displacement
As Chair of the Housing and Policy Development Committee I am working to focus and coordinate efforts to preserve and increase affordable housing options, promote housing stability and prevent displacement of our residents.
People are right to be concerned about displacement and gentrification in our City. As more people move to Minneapolis, current low-income residents are at greater and greater risk of being displaced. So-called “Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing” is being converted to higher-rent housing, at a rate of over a thousand units per year. The homeownership gap between whites and people of color in Minneapolis is among the widest in the nation. Some renters are trapped in an exploitative subset of the rental market and face disproportionate evictions and other negative housing options. Too many people continue to experience homelessness in Minneapolis and the number of unsheltered single adults has increased. The cost of energy is part of overall housing cost burden and falls disproportionately on the poorest residents and housing that is badly maintained can lead to a variety of different health problems, including lead poisoning, asthma, and more.
To address the problems related to housing, the City has taken several actions since 2017 to build, rehab, and stabilize affordable housing, to promote home ownership, to reduce racial disparities, to address homelessness, and to increase energy efficiency in housing and we need to do more.
We have accelerated investment in affordable housing, passed renter protections, initiated a Missing Middle Housing pilot program, created a Single Room Occupancy/shared housing pilot program, voted to allow more affordable and innovative housing options like Intentional Community Cluster Developments, approved an energy disclosure ordinance, provided energy efficiency support, created a 4d Affordable Housing Incentive program to provide property tax reductions for landlords of lower-rent units, passed an advance notice of sale ordinance, and funded renter legal services for those who need them.
Still, we need to do more. To meet this ongoing challenge, the City is exploring a number of additional policy solutions, including an Inclusionary Housing policy that would require some affordable units to be included in new apartments buildings, a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase policy that would give renters the right to purchase the buildings they live in when the owner of the building wants to sell it; rent stabilization laws that would limit rent increases; inclusive financing tools that would allow residents – both homeowners and renters – to pay for energy efficiency improvements through energy savings, on their bills; tenant relocation assistance rules that would require relocation costs for tenants to be paid by owners of buildings that lose their rental licenses; a sustainable building policy that will require all buildings – including housing – that are supported by the City to meet a higher energy and environmental performance standard; bigger investments and a new levy dedicated to Public Housing; greater flexibility to allow more affordable and innovative housing options like Intentional Community Cluster Developments, Accessory Dwelling Units on more properties and Single Room Occupancy.
As the number of people who want to live in Minneapolis grows the lack of affordable housing has resulted in too many families struggling to cover housing costs. The free market system has failed to meet the housing needs in our City. Our City government can and should do more to ensure that all our residents have a healthy, safe and decent home to live in.
2020 Budget Amendments
I am working on several budget amendments. One would invest $30-50,000 to further develop a Children’s Saving Account program and another would redirect $50,000 to fund another season of the successful Youth Outreach Workers in the Cedar Riverside and Seward areas. A third amendment I am working on would restore the $520,000 in sustainability program funds that was in this year’s but did not make it into the Mayor’s 2020 recommendations. I am also exploring shifting funding to pay for two studies that would be completed by outside contractors. One would be to conduct a staffing study of the Police Department and the other to study potential impacts of a rent stabilization ordinance for Minneapolis. I would also like us to do more to support alternatives to pay-day-lending. I would also likely support amendments that call for more investment in youth development, support for seniors, address the opioid crisis, and improve mental health emergency response.
Last updated Dec 5, 2019