[HPN] (no subject)

mail.ids.net homey@ids.net
Wed, 12 Apr 2000 23:35:47 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_004C_01BFA4D7.D41C1F80
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Homeless task force urges building more single-room housing
Mark Brunswick / Star Tribune=20

A task force is recommending that 1,850 units of single-room occupancy =
housing be built in the metropolitan area within five years to address =
the housing needs of almost 5,000 adults living in homeless shelters or =
on the streets.

The expense could be considerable: Capital costs could exceed $111 =
million during that time, and operating subsidies could exceed $13 =
million a year.

But, the task force claims in a report released Wednesday, moves aimed =
at preventing chronic homelessness will reduce other costs in the =
system, such as welfare, emergency-room visits, detox and jail.

The task force also recommends that a metropolitan shelter-advisory =
board be established to promote regional and statewide responsibility =
for programs connected to homelessness, and it suggests a 24-hour system =
of services for homeless youth.

The report will be presented to the Minneapolis City Council and =
Hennepin County Board. The bodies will vote on establishing the shelter =
board, which then would make recommendations about programming and =
requests for funding. While state and federal funding will be solicited, =
city and county funding is expected to be crucial to some of the =
recommendations.

The focus of the report is on single-room occupancy units, or SROs, =
which are a cleaned-up variation on the traditional flophouses and =
pay-by-the-week hotels that largely were demolished in run-down areas =
through urban renewal and gentrification.

The report estimates that Minneapolis could spend $1.2 million a year to =
build its share of SROs. Hennepin County could spend $2.6 million a year =
(in 2000 dollars) in operating costs in the fifth year of the plan, when =
all 1,850 units are built and functional.

In a move that may raise concerns from some suburban areas but appease =
burgeoning businesses thirsty for new workers, the report recommends =
that low-cost SRO housing be built near centers of employment, not just =
in urban areas.

A subcommittee determined that approximately 4,400 single people are in =
shelters or without housing in the seven-county metropolitan area and =
that about 75 percent are in Hennepin County. But the task force =
recommended that production of SROs should match the distribution of the =
population at large, meaning that new construction in Hennepin County =
would be limited to an estimated 42 percent, with the rest spread around =
the region.

The 32-member task force -- made up of representatives from government, =
advocacy groups, businesses and the formerly homeless -- was convened in =
May to analyze the causes and potential solutions to homelessness. In =
its final meeting before releasing the report, the task force decided =
against an earlier recommendation that Minneapolis lift a moratorium on =
camping inside city limits.

Task force member Gail Dorfman, a Hennepin County commissioner who has =
been at the forefront of affordable-housing issues, said the task force =
recognized that the controversial camping proposal, while close to the =
hearts of some members, might affect its other recommendations.

"It would have been hard to make that politically palatable, and it was =
felt that the rest of the recommendations were too important to =
endanger," Dorfman said.

The task force also has recommended:


a..   Building at least 100 new SRO units by 2001 and enacting a =
moratorium on demolition or elimination of SRO-type housing when =
possible.=20


b..   Establishing a sober, pay-to-stay worker's dorm at the =
secure-waiting site at 1000 Curie Av. and putting a 60-to 90-day limit =
on stays at secure waiting, which provides basic shelter for people who =
do not qualify for any other services. The recommendations are an =
acknowledgment that those using the shelters are responsible for =
improving their situations as well.=20


c..   Increasing overall shelter capacity by 100 full-service overnight =
beds and supporting zoning changes and special permit applications =
necessary to find a site for the beds, particularly in suburban Hennepin =
County.=20


d..   Passing laws that limit rental application fees and enforcing =
antidiscrimination laws.=20

The report will come before the Minneapolis City Council's Community =
Development Committee on April 24 and to the full council May 5. It will =
be debated before the Hennepin County Board's Human Services Committee =
on May 9 and the full board on May 16.

After the report is voted on, another task force will begin work on =
homelessness among children and families.


------=_NextPart_000_004C_01BFA4D7.D41C1F80
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">






Homeless task force urges building more single-room = housing

Mark=20 Brunswick / Star Tribune=20

A task force is recommending that 1,850 units of single-room = occupancy=20 housing be built in the metropolitan area within five years to address = the=20 housing needs of almost 5,000 adults living in homeless shelters or on = the=20 streets.

The expense could be considerable: Capital costs could exceed $111 = million=20 during that time, and operating subsidies could exceed $13 million a = year.

But, the task force claims in a report released Wednesday, moves = aimed at=20 preventing chronic homelessness will reduce other costs in the system, = such as=20 welfare, emergency-room visits, detox and jail.

The task force also recommends that a metropolitan shelter-advisory = board be=20 established to promote regional and statewide responsibility for = programs=20 connected to homelessness, and it suggests a 24-hour system of services = for=20 homeless youth.

The report will be presented to the Minneapolis City Council and = Hennepin=20 County Board. The bodies will vote on establishing the shelter board, = which then=20 would make recommendations about programming and requests for funding. = While=20 state and federal funding will be solicited, city and county funding is = expected=20 to be crucial to some of the recommendations.

The focus of the report is on single-room occupancy units, or SROs, = which are=20 a cleaned-up variation on the traditional flophouses and pay-by-the-week = hotels=20 that largely were demolished in run-down areas through urban renewal and = gentrification.

The report estimates that Minneapolis could spend $1.2 million a year = to=20 build its share of SROs. Hennepin County could spend $2.6 million a year = (in=20 2000 dollars) in operating costs in the fifth year of the plan, when all = 1,850=20 units are built and functional.

In a move that may raise concerns from some suburban areas but = appease=20 burgeoning businesses thirsty for new workers, the report recommends = that=20 low-cost SRO housing be built near centers of employment, not just in = urban=20 areas.

A subcommittee determined that approximately 4,400 single people are = in=20 shelters or without housing in the seven-county metropolitan area and = that about=20 75 percent are in Hennepin County. But the task force recommended that=20 production of SROs should match the distribution of the population at = large,=20 meaning that new construction in Hennepin County would be limited to an=20 estimated 42 percent, with the rest spread around the region.

The 32-member task force -- made up of representatives from = government,=20 advocacy groups, businesses and the formerly homeless -- was convened in = May to=20 analyze the causes and potential solutions to homelessness. In its final = meeting=20 before releasing the report, the task force decided against an earlier=20 recommendation that Minneapolis lift a moratorium on camping inside city = limits.

Task force member Gail Dorfman, a Hennepin County commissioner who = has been=20 at the forefront of affordable-housing issues, said the task force = recognized=20 that the controversial camping proposal, while close to the hearts of = some=20 members, might affect its other recommendations.

"It would have been hard to make that politically palatable, and = it was=20 felt that the rest of the recommendations were too important to = endanger,"=20 Dorfman said.

The task force also has recommended:

  •   Building at least 100 new SRO units by 2001 and enacting a = moratorium=20 on demolition or elimination of SRO-type housing when possible.=20

  •   Establishing a sober, pay-to-stay worker's dorm at the = secure-waiting=20 site at 1000 Curie Av. and putting a 60-to 90-day limit on stays at = secure=20 waiting, which provides basic shelter for people who do not qualify for = any=20 other services. The recommendations are an acknowledgment that those = using the=20 shelters are responsible for improving their situations as well.=20

  •   Increasing overall shelter capacity by 100 full-service = overnight=20 beds and supporting zoning changes and special permit applications = necessary to=20 find a site for the beds, particularly in suburban Hennepin County.=20

  •   Passing laws that limit rental application fees and enforcing = antidiscrimination laws.=20

    The report will come before the Minneapolis City Council's Community=20 Development Committee on April 24 and to the full council May 5. It will = be=20 debated before the Hennepin County Board's Human Services Committee on = May 9 and=20 the full board on May 16.

    After the report is voted on, another task force will begin work on=20 homelessness among children and families.

  • ------=_NextPart_000_004C_01BFA4D7.D41C1F80--