Last March the Southwest Light-Rail project released results for a study it commissioned on housing options offered by the southwest suburbs.
While Minneapolis and St. Louis Park offered more than 17 programs—such as land trusts, fix-up funds, rental ordinances and foreclosure prevention—Edina was found to offer “very few.”
Neighborhoods in Edina’s north and west are within a mile of six proposed light-rail stations, and about 9 percent of the city’s workforce are employed within a half mile of proposed stations.
Though the Southwest line is still hotly contested, Edina officials are taking a second look at the city’s housing policies with an eye toward offering more rentals and affordable housing near the Southwest corridor.
Senior planner Joyce Repya presented an update on the light-rail corridor housing strategy to the Edina city council on Tuesday.
“They would like to adopt a policy to encourage more affordable housing in the community,” she said.
Edina does have at least four rental units in the Southwest corridor—two general occupancy and two reserved for seniors—plus a number of affordable condos in the area.
“It isn’t anything that’s subsidized or Section 8 or anything like that—it’s just naturally occurring affordability,” Royce said.
And Edina has a number of multi-unit rental buildings, though they’re mostly situated near Fairview, out of the Southwest corridor.
But when it comes to Federal funding guidelines, which call for “a mix of housing options for existing and future residents,” Edina falls short.
Royce said that she didn’t know the precise percentage of Edina housing considered affordable, but that she suspected changes would need to be made to meet when the guidelines go into effect in May/June of 2014.“In order to access federal funding, you’ll need to be providing a minimum of 20 percent affordable housing,” she said.