MODELS & BEST PRACTICES

Prioritizing Public Lands for Affordable Housing and other Public Benefits

Dec 2018

To meet the housing needs of the Twin Cities region, we must think creatively and look for new opportunities to align and maximize the impact of public resources. Surplus, vacant, and underutilized public lands are precious community resources and must be part of the solution. Let’s build on what we already have.

Public lands are sites owned by a government entity, including state or local government, transit agencies, school districts, and public institutions. Family Housing Fund compiled a list of state statutes and county and city ordinances from other regions of the country to repurpose public lands for affordable housing. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach that is appropriate for all regions, these statues and ordinances serve as policy examples for the Twin Cities region to learn from. Building on these examples, Family Housing Fund created a model ordinance for the prioritization of public lands for affordable housing.

While many local public agencies have existing systems in place to redevelop or sell vacant and foreclosed properties for affordable housing, our next-stage opportunity is to assess the larger portfolio of potentially available land in the region, across agencies, and to intentionally prioritize it for affordable housing development wherever appropriate. 

Read a brief overview of the public lands opportunity.

External resources:

Public Benefit from Publicly Owned Parcels: Effective Practices in Affordable Housing Development (Enterprise 2017)

Where are opportunities for public lands in the Twin Cities? Take a look at the Metropolitan Council’s Transit Oriented Development Public Parcels Map.

Topics
Local Policy Inventory, Policy, Public Resources
Who is it for?
Housing Advocates, Policy Makers

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