[Hpn] Minneapolis, MN - 3 Year Minneapolis Public-housing Survey: Mixed satisfaction - Minneapolis Star Tribune - July 16, 2002

H. C. Covington H. C. Covington" <icanamerica@bellsouth.net
Thu, 18 Jul 2002 05:42:30 -0500

Three Year Minneapolis public-housing survey: Mixed satisfaction
University of Minnesota's Center for Urban Regional Affairs under contract with
the Family Housing Fund and the state of Minnesota - considered the first
large-scale opportunity in US to compare voluntary and involuntary relocation.

By Nolan Zavoral - Minneapolis Star Tribune - July 16, 2002

More than 300 low-income families who moved as a result of a 1992 desegregation
lawsuit in Minneapolis have given the outcome mixed reviews, according to a
report to be released today after a three-year study.

Compared with other residents of public housing, the relocated families were
happier with the quality of their homes and had fewer public-safety concerns,
but "in terms of consistent and positive elements, it was limited to those
things," said the study's author, Edward Goetz of the University of Minnesota's
Center for Urban Regional Affairs.

Although the lawsuit was settled in 1995 with the intent of spreading public
housing throughout the metro area, nearly 90 percent of the relocated families
still lived in Minneapolis, the study found. In addition, the relocations did
not have an impact on job status or wages.

More than 700 public-housing units were razed on the city's Near North Side as a
result of the Hollman Consent Decree, the 1995 settlement of the lawsuit. About
440 families were displaced.

The Center for Urban Regional Affairs began the $250,000 study in 1998 under
contract with the Family Housing Fund and the state of Minnesota. It was
considered the first large-scale opportunity in the nation to compare voluntary
and involuntary relocation efforts in the same housing market.

More than 600 people were interviewed, Goetz said, including a number of those
who were displaced and a comparison group of people living in public housing in
neighborhoods with poverty or a concentration of minorities.

Based on questions concerning eight neighborhood characteristics, the relocated
families expressed no more satisfaction with their new neighborhoods than those
in the comparison group did.

Goetz, a research associate at the center and a professor of regional and urban
planning at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, said he was surprised that
the two groups did not differ more in their assessments on key issues, including
the quality of schools in their neighborhoods.

Does that mean that desegregation doesn't work?

"I'm not sure I'd go that far," Goetz said. "At the very least, it means that
Minneapolis isn't like Chicago and Baltimore and Los Angeles and other places
that have been studied.

"Public housing in Minneapolis, although it's bad, and not many of us would
volunteer to live there . . . the change in environment for families is simply
not as dramatic."

He said that attitudes might change as the years pass.

"The funders have talked about repeating this in five or 10 years -- and you
might see something change farther out," he said.

A slow pace

The site of the former housing projects is to become a new mixed-income
neighborhood including some public housing, and other replacement housing is
being built throughout the metro area.

But progress has been slow.

As of February, according to the report, 429 replacement units were in use
across the region, with Woodbury and Shakopee having the most units outside of

Goetz said that "clearly all parties involved would have wanted it to turn out

But he said, "I wasn't a watchdog in this. I was more directed to look at

Karla Weigold, an affordable-housing advocate who lives in public housing in
north Minneapolis, said the slowness in building affordable housing in general
still is being felt.

"They're thousands of units behind in trying to catch up," she said. "That's why
you have the numbers of children going homeless today. There's no place for them
to go.

"You get a voucher -- yippie -- what good does it do if there's no place to go?"

Officials of the Minneapolis NAACP, which backed the lawsuit, could not be
reached on Monday.

-- Nolan Zavoral is at nzavoral@startribune.com

Minnesota Homeless and Housing News
A copy of the 3 year Evaluation Report mentioned in the article above is
available.  It has been uploaded as a file on the MN_Homeless ListGrp. See URL
link below.  If you have any trouble downloading, let us know and we will
send you a full copy via email.

Report No. 1: July 16,  2002 Adobe.pdf format 83 pages
source page  http://makeashorterlink.com/?Y2EC12A41