Elkins' Housing Bill is Really a "KON" Act

san-francisco_close_houses-g89c6cca59_640.jpgIn our September 2021 edition, SD 49 Newsletter carried a story outlining how our Rep. Elkins plans to social engineer our residential neighborhoods to fit his vision of how we should live.

Rep. Steve Elkins recently introduced his “Legalize Affordable Housing” Act for consideration in this session of the Minnesota House. It really should be called the “Kill Our Neighborhoods” Bill, as it is a real KON Act. Comparing the bill Rep. Elkins actually submitted to the draft bill we analyzed last September, SD49 Newsletter confirmed that the new bill retains these features:

1. Elkins’ Kill Our Neighborhoods (KON) bill both requires cities to allow and encourages builders to build low-income, high-density housing. The costs of that housing will still be imposed on the original, single-family residents of the neighborhood, not on the low-income occupants of the high density housing. The new low-income residents are exempted from impact fees intended to make developers pay the costs of new development to the city -- street, sewer and other improvements needed to support the new development. (Article 1, Sec 8 of the KON). In other legislation, projects qualifying as low-income must have at least 30% of their units cheap enough that people earning 30% of the median income for their area can buy them.

2. Rep. Elkins’ KON specifically allows use of various fees authorized by the KON to build mass transit into our neighborhoods. (Art. 1, Sec. 5 (1))

3. These fees for “fixed transit infrastructure” must be apportioned to all developed parcels in the district (Art. 2, Sec. 1, Subd (1)(c). However, ‘developed parcels’ is undefined. Fees for street improvement districts must be based on vehicle trips to and from developed parcels over the quarter before the fees are set – based, in other words, on trips by owners of the single family homes which existed before Elkins’ KON strips away their single family zoning and converts our neighborhoods to the high density, low income housing Elkins wants.

As we pointed out in our January article, Rep. Elkins told us that if we oppose his bill we are NIMBY racists. He told the MinnPost, ““These kinds of zoning restrictions have a clearly disparate impact on communities of color and in some cases have their origins in racism,” said Elkins. “Anyone who has served on a city council in a developing suburban community encountered people at the podium talking about this density will bring ‘those people’ into the community.”

Rep. Elkins has announced he will seek re-election. If he is re-elected, he will push his KON in our legislature. And if you dislike having your single-family-zoned neighborhood eliminated, you are one of the ‘people at the podium’ Elkins paints so clearly. You could not possibly just prefer low density neighborhoods. In Elkins' view, if you support neighborhood, single-family zoning, you are a racist.