Brooklyn Center Hears Concerns About Affordable Housing
The Brooklyn Center City Council learned more Tuesday about an affordable housing project set to begin construction in mid-December.
St. Paul-based Real Estate Equities will build 127 workforce housing units at the northwest corner of Xerxes Avenue and Bass Lake Road. City officials have said it will help families amid an affordable housing crunch.
The site used to be a Jerry’s Foods grocery store. The city council approved more than $23 million in tax-exempt bonds to help Real Estate Equities fund the project. Such bonds, known as conduit revenue bonds, are used as a tool to leverage municipal financing to help developers with projects that otherwise would not occur. City officials say the bonds do not impact the city’s credit rating nor is the city liable for the debt. Real Estate Equities is responsible for the debt payments.
The project approved last spring also relies on tax-increment financing, another tool used by cities to redevelop sites.
Concerns About Too Much Affordable Housing
During Tuesday’s meeting the city council heard concerns about the city having too much affordable housing.
“We have the highest poverty rate in Minnesota. Putting more poverty here in this city is not going to solve anything,” said Lang Xiong, a Brooklyn Center resident.
Xiong says the city needs to focus more on the existing residents of Brooklyn Center to provide a better quality of life.
According to a representative with Real Estate Equities who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, there would be income limits for people who live there. The project would be built next to affordable senior housing. Construction on the senior housing project would start in the spring.