Affordable and Low-Income Housing Hits NIMBYville in St. Paul

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Recently the Highland Park District (HDC), a community group in an affluent neighborhood in St. Paul, Mn. filed a lawsuit to stop a 44-unit affordable and low-income housing project that was approved by the city.

Why? Is it because the Project for Pride in Living project does not conform to certain zoning codes, or because the community group does not want such housing nearby?

Nathan M Hood, a blogger who calls himself a freelance urban planner in the Twin Cities, suggests that the HDC has chosen to dispute several aspects of the application and local zoning law — concerning lot size and parking spaces — asa smokescreen for the broader issue of objecting to such housing in such a neighborhood.

After examining all of the objections and recent other developments in the neighborhood, Hood is left with only one conclusion: “Highland Park residents aren’t comfortable living within proximity of poor people. The lawsuit may concentrate on conditional use permits, but all signs point in another direction.”

Thanks to Nathan M Hood for raising the issue and for allowing The Saint Report to publish his post.

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