New Units Produced (2011)
% Progress Towards LCA Goal
*Although new affordable housing goals under LUPA (Comp Plan) and LCA (Livable Communities eligibility) cover the same time period for the same kind of units, the Met Council established generally different goals for cities. For most cities, the LCA goal is set at 65% of the LUPA goal. Some larger cities or those with access to more resource have LCA goals closer to or equal to LUPA goals. Unlike pre-2010 goals, the 2011-2020 goals do not create separate sub-goals for rental and ownership housing units. More information.
New Units Produced
2010 LCA Goals
% Progress Towards 2010 Goals
Metropolitan Council Housing Performance Score
Out of 100 (100 = highest)
Housing Performance Score is generated by the Metropolitan Council's Guidelines for Priority Funding For Housing Performance.
2010 Housing Performance Scores (PDF - 45 KB)
All Metro Communities
2009 Housing Performance Scores (PDF - 27 KB)
All Metro Communities
2008 Housing Performance Scores (PDF - 138 KB)
All Metro Communities
Units affordable at 50% or less of Regional Family Median Income
Total Housing Units
Households at 50% or less of Regional Median Family Income with Housing Problems
Total Households at 50% or less of Regional Family Median Income
% with Problems
Note: The median family income for the Twin Cities was $65,800 in 2000 (or $32,900 at 50% of median).
Housing affordability numbers are adjusted by family size. Housing affordability matches the number of persons in a family to units with different numbers of bedrooms (e.g. a 4-person family is matched to 2 bedroom units). Income limits to affordable housing costs are also adjusted higher for larger families (greater than 4 people) and lower for smaller families (less than 4 people).
Housing problems are defined as household cost burden greater than 30% of income and/or overcrowding (more than 1 person per room) and/or without complete kitchen and plumbing facilities.
An interview was conducted with an official from Columbia Heights's planning or community development department in Spring of 2006, shortly after the Metropolitan Council's calculations for affordable housing need numbers were made public. A summary of key issues addressed in the interview is below:
According to the Met Council's recent report on "Determining Affordable Housing Need in the Twin Cites," Columbia Heights's affordable housing need number is 231 units for 2010-2020. Our source felt that these goals were high and not feasible. Our source identified the following problems and obstacles to meeting these goals: loss of eminent domain authority. The new affordable housing goals do not make a distinction between affordable rental and affordable for-sale housing, and our source felt that more for-sale housing would result. Our source felt that the new goals are similar to Columbia Heights's LCA goals. Columbia Heights plans to use the need number established in the Met Council's report as the affordable housing target in its comprehensive plan update.
Columbia Heights does not keep a database tracking the supply of low- and moderate-income housing. It has used the following programs to develop and facilitate the development of affordable housing: TIF, allowing higher densities for affordable units, and working with HUD. We also asked our source about Columbia Heights's use of some specific policies and programs. The results are summarized below:
PUD with smaller lots or density bonus
Zoning variances for low-mod housing
Expedited zoning & approval for low-mod
Adjusted fees for low-mod housing
Adjusted lot sizes for low-mod housing
Allow accessory apartments
Set asides for low-moderate housing (i.e., inclusionary zoning)
Low Income Housing Tax Credits
Local tax abatement for low-mod housing
Incentives for new construction technologies
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Mortgage Revenue bonds
Columbia Heights has not solicited proposals from the local HRA or other developers for building low- and moderate-income housing. It has acted as a proposer or developer of low- and moderate-income housing. Our source indicated that Columbia Heights has transit-oriented development opportunities, which make a positive difference in its ability to produce more affordable housing. Our source felt that with additional funding, Columbia Heights could accomplish its affordable housing goals.
Obstacles and Challenges
Our source did not identify any specific aspects of zoning ordinances, permitting processes, or other requirements that discourage or prevent adding to the supply of low-and moderate income housing. We also asked our source about some specific local practices and if they limit the development of low- and moderate-income housing. The results are summarized below:
Lot size requirements
Restricted amount of land zoned for multi-family housing
Local requirements for building materials
Subdivision regulations requiring high quality materials or wide street paving
Permitting processes and fees
Local limits on the use of manufactured housing (e.g., mobile homes)
Building codes hat require updated code enforcement with any rehabilitation
Prohibition on accessory apartment units
Our source reported that Columbia Heights does not have any undeveloped land that is zoned residential and allows ten or more units per acre. Our source felt that in order to meet its affordable housing goals, Columbia Heights needs funding, land, and political will.