Richmond needs more neighbors

Late last year, the Minneapolis City Council voted to ditch single-family zoning and allow duplexes and triplexes in every. single. neighborhood. It’s a bold decision that’ll create more affordable housing, reduce racial segregation, and begin the work towards more sustainable climate policy.

Richmond 300 is our opportunity to do the same, demonstrate that we “get it,” and proactively set the bar for progressive housing policy in mid-sized cities. The question is whether we have the guts to do it.

Here’s a few good bits from a New York Times editorial on how cities across the country should follow Minneapolis’s lead:

The number of housing units completed in the United States last year, adjusted for the size of the population, was lower than in any year between 1968 and 2008. And the problem is most acute in major urban areas along the east and west coasts. Housing prices, and homelessness, are rising across the country because there is not enough housing…

People who think of themselves as progressives, environmentalists and egalitarians fight fiercely against urban development, complaining about traffic and shadows and the sanctity of lawns…

Single-family neighborhoods rose to prominence across the country after the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1917 that zoning based on race was unconstitutional. “Single-family zoning became basically the only option to try to maintain both race and class segregation,” said Jessica Trounstine, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Merced, who has studied segregation.