ARTICLE: The Minnesota Land Use Planning Act and the Promotion of Low-and Moderate-Income Housing in Suburbia + Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2004 Law and Inequality
Law and Inequality

ARTICLE: The Minnesota Land Use Planning Act and the Promotion of Low-and Moderate-Income Housing in Suburbia +

Winter, 2004

22 Law & Ineq. 31


Edward G. Goetz, Karen Chapple & Barbara Lukermann*


The rapid escalation in urban housing values across the country has outstripped wage and income growth, making both ownership and rental housing inside cities less affordable for a growing percentage of families. 1 Yet, the problems in urban housing markets transcend local municipal boundaries. 2 For example, residents and politicians of all areas resist the development and funding of subsidized housing, which limits the availability of low-cost housing. 3 State and local governments have concentrated new subsidized housing in central city neighborhoods, increasing the poverty levels of those areas. 4 At the same time, suburban land use regulations limit the amount of low-cost housing that can be built outside of central cities. 5

This concentration of poverty heightens a series of social problems ranging from drug use and criminal activity to high school dropout rates and teenage pregnancy. 6 Centralized poverty also impacts the fiscal burden of local governments by increasing the need for public and social services in some geographic areas, while at the same time reducing the tax revenue potential of those areas. 7

The barriers to housing affordability in suburban areas trap poorer, low-skilled workers in central city neighborhoods, away from the areas of greatest job growth. 8 Central city schools are deprived of resources, creating dramatic inequities in the educational experiences of city and suburban children. 9 The residential development produced by suburban zoning also contributes to patterns of urban sprawl, which generates its own set of costs. 10

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