In Minneapolis, they’re bringing back rooming houses to ease the city’s housing shortage problems and help stabilize people who are homeless or on the brink of it. 

The City Council last week approved a new ordinance that will make it legal to build single-room dwellings with shared bathrooms and kitchens.

Council Members Cam Gordon, Lisa Goodman and Jeremy Schroeder crafted the ordinance to give low-income people a housing option that they say will address a gap in the city’s affordable housing.

“The housing crisis really pushed this forward,” Schroeder said. “We need to have long-term affordable housing options for people that are coming out of homelessness. Shelter isn’t a long-term solution. It’s an emergency solution.”

In recent months, Minneapolis leaders have been taking aggressive steps to address the city’s housing crisis. City officials are working with Hennepin County to purchase hotels and turn them into single-room-occupancy residences. Mayor Jacob Frey has proposed using $28 million of American Rescue Plan money for affordable housing, with a big portion of that going toward addressing the uptick in homelessness. About $5 million from the federal pandemic relief money will support single-room-occupancy units (SROs). Read more


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