In the final installment of her three-part series on how the suburbs of one region of Minnesota are changing, Amanda Kolson Hurley examines the dilemma that is tearing apart the progressive community there: Whether to spend affordable housing dollars to create housing for poor families in wealthier neighborhoods and thus foster more integration or to spend that money building more affordable housing in the poorer neighborhoods where those families already live.
And this bitter fight over integration is happening in one of the least likely metropolitan areas of the country: the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, long considered a bastion of progressivism and liberalism.
Both sides are fighting the good fight, but using different assumptions and sociological premises and ideals, and this puts them in a vicious fight that has tended to get very heated and sometimes nasty. As Hurley writes: "To an outsider (at least this one), the antagonism is jarring. It’s not every day you see affordable-housing advocates starkly divided, or a fair housing nonprofit and the local NAACP chapter taking opposite sides. Everyone involved presumably shares the same goal: overcoming the legacy of housing discrimination to improve the lives of low-income people. They just can’t agree on how to get there."
Read Amanda Kolson Hurley's full story at CityLab.