Preservation of Affordable Housing: Review and Comparison of Authority and Approaches for Chicago & Minneapolis
Healthy, safe, and affordable housing is essential to human and community well-being. Many communities throughout the United States are experiencing a shortage of affordable housing and, more specifically, healthy and safe affordable housing. Chicago and Minneapolis are two of these cities. Although the legal authority governing the landlord-tenant relationship and enforcement of the housing code in Chicago and Minneapolis is similar in many ways, there are some notable differences that impact how each municipality approaches (and is able to approach) its efforts to preserve affordable housing and to ensure the available affordable housing is healthy and safe.
This report contains a review of the relevant legal authority (derived from both city ordinance and state statute) in Chicago (Chicago Municipal Code and Illinois State Statues) and Minneapolis (Minneapolis Code of Ordinances and Minnesota Statutes), along with a comparison of that legal authority. It also compares the primary approaches in Chicago (Troubled Buildings Initiative) and Minneapolis (Problem Property Unit).
This report concludes that cities need to implement intentional approaches to address troubled buildings in an effort to preserve affordable housing. Chicago’s legal authority contains additional provisions for improving housing quality, and some of these provisions could be used in Minneapolis to benefit efforts in preserving affordable housing. If Minneapolis were to pursue obtaining these tools, more research needs to be done to better understand the impact of these provisions and how Minneapolis can attain them.