Preventing displacement, maximizing community benefits

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Ensuring the Blue Line Extension benefits current and future corridor residents, communities and businesses is critical to the project's success. This new light rail line will serve areas with some of the region's most significant disparities in income, health, and housing. This project presents an exciting opportunity to help communities build wealth in place, attract community and economic development investments, and improve lives and neighborhoods. However, intentional strategies and policies are needed to maximize community benefits, and minimize displacement.

For the first time ever, the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County are convening an Anti-displacement Workgroup that will center community voices and bring together a variety of partners and stakeholders to advance and implement robust anti-displacement strategies that help ensure the value of light rail will benefit current corridor residents, and minimize physical, cultural, and economic displacement.

This effort will require many partners coming together to strategize and take action. To advance this work, the Blue Line Extension project has contracted with the University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) who will convene and coordinate work of the Anti-displacement Workgroup.

This work will be ongoing throughout the life of the project, and beyond with a focus on both short- and long-term solutions.

Share your experience and offer input below to help guide this critical work.

Ensuring the Blue Line Extension benefits current and future corridor residents, communities and businesses is critical to the project's success. This new light rail line will serve areas with some of the region's most significant disparities in income, health, and housing. This project presents an exciting opportunity to help communities build wealth in place, attract community and economic development investments, and improve lives and neighborhoods. However, intentional strategies and policies are needed to maximize community benefits, and minimize displacement.

For the first time ever, the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County are convening an Anti-displacement Workgroup that will center community voices and bring together a variety of partners and stakeholders to advance and implement robust anti-displacement strategies that help ensure the value of light rail will benefit current corridor residents, and minimize physical, cultural, and economic displacement.

This effort will require many partners coming together to strategize and take action. To advance this work, the Blue Line Extension project has contracted with the University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) who will convene and coordinate work of the Anti-displacement Workgroup.

This work will be ongoing throughout the life of the project, and beyond with a focus on both short- and long-term solutions.

Share your experience and offer input below to help guide this critical work.

  • Anti-Displacement Group meeting for third time

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    The Anti-Displacement Work Group will convene for its third meeting:

  • Workshop #2 recap: Housing and cultural displacement

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    The September 24 workshop focused on existing anti-displacement policies and opportunities to build policy.

    Community sentiment on anti-displacement policies

    Participants identified policies and issues that are of interest to the community. They then determined how those interests align with the anti-displacement group’s work.

    Existing and recommended policies

    The group gained understanding of how much support existing and recommended policies in the corridor have.

    Structure for recommendations

    The group discussed how they could best implement recommendations in a transparent, accountable, and participatory way.

    Next steps

  • Anti-Displacement Work Group meeting for second time

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    The Anti-Displacement Work Group will convene for it's second meeting:

  • Upcoming: Public anti-displacement meetings

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    The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs is hosting two public meeting events for community members, non-profits, and businesses to learn more about the Blue Line Extension Anti-Displacement Work Group workshop held in June on Lessons Learned from Light Rail Transit lines in operation, under construction and planned. This event will be set up to facilitate updates on each of the agenda topics from the workshop and allows for questions, conversations and the gathering of ideas and feedback to help build on actionable displacement mitigation recommendations.

    Join the CURA Team:

    • Monday, August 15th from 5-7 PM at the Crystal Community Center – 4800 Douglas Dr, Crystal
    • Tuesday, August 16th from 5:30-7:30 PM at UROC – 2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis
  • Workshop #1 recap: Displacement and lessons from previous light rail projects

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    The June 4 workshop focused on national best practices in anti-displacement and case studies of existing Twin Cities light rail projects.

    Defining displacement

    The group defined what displacement means to them. They learned more about the research on different types of displacement: direct, indirect, exclusionary, and cultural.


    Effects of previous light rail projects

    Overall, light rail led to increasing residential and commercial property values, and these effects can be seen well before light rail is built and in operation.

    Community expert forum

    A panel of experts with experience in the community and on other light rail projects discussed successes, challenges, and lessons learned from their work.

    Policy tools and the work of governments

    The workgroup learned about potential policies and programs to combat displacement. They discussed what policies might need to be prioritized to address unresolved issues.

    Research update

    CURA and the U of M are conducting research with organizations serving youth, organizations serving people experiencing homelessness, and BIPOC- and immigrant-owned small businesses along the corridor.

  • Workshop #1: Displacement and lessons from previous light rail projects

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    The the anti-displacement work group will meet Saturday, June 4, for the first of four full day workshop sessions planned for 2022. This first workshop will focus on the effects of previous light rail projects in the Twin Cities on displacement and lessons learned that can inform anti-displacement strategies for the Blue Line Extension.

    The meeting will be livestreamed here on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Can't make it for the live event? Check back here for a workshop summary and recording afterwards.

    Meeting materials



  • Anti-Displacement Work Group kickoff meeting

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    The Anti-Displacement Work Group convened for it's first meeting:



  • News release: Blue Line Extension Anti-Displacement Work Group kicks off efforts to prevent displacement

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    Minneapolis, Minn. – Today the Blue Line Extension Anti-Displacement Work Group kicks off a process that will result in actionable recommendations to prevent displacement and maximize community benefits along the planned light rail line that will connect the communities of North Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park to the regional transit network.

    Led by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) in partnership with Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council, the 26 recently selected members of the Anti-Displacement Work Group includes people who are residents and business owners in the area, people with lived experience of displacement, and people from the philanthropic community and government agencies.

    The first meeting of an anticipated year-long process will be today, March 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. The work group will discuss the Blue Line Extension project schedule and affirm a research agenda formulated by the CURA research team. The meeting will be held virtually and can be viewed by the public here: https://umn.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_c7iBMHtuT5uvzhRQdABGJw

    “This is an exciting milestone for the Blue Line Extension Project, but also for our region and state. We’re setting a new standard for how government and community can work together to ensure major infrastructure investments truly benefit the communities they are intended to serve,” said Irene Fernando, Hennepin County District 2 Commissioner and Chair of the Regional Railroad Authority. “This group represents our diverse corridor communities with the broad range of experience and expertise needed to make this work successful. Together, we will ensure this transformational investment benefits existing corridor residents and reduces racial disparities.”

    Metropolitan Council District 2 Member Reva Chamblis shared, “We have put a lot of thought into this issue and are ready for this group to get started. We’ve seen how light rail projects drive investment in communities and the Blue Line Extension should serve all communities; especially those with high numbers of working families who rely on transit to meet basic needs like getting to jobs, school, or the grocery store. This group is an opportunity for community members to co-design policy recommendations and have their lived and historical experiences inform programming and investments that will ensure current corridor residents experience the lasting benefits of light rail. A priority outcome of anti-displacement efforts in light rail corridor projects should solve for equity in economic competitiveness, preserve and grow community assets and promote prosperity for all neighborhoods along the corridor."

    Jeff Lunde, Hennepin County District 1 said, “I was so pleased to see all cities along the corridor represented in this group. Having anti-displacement strategies developed by individuals that can speak to the wants and needs of the diverse communities who work and live along this corridor is the best way to ensure positive outcomes. We are committed to the Work Group’s success and look forward to advancing the recommendations that are developed through this truly unique process.”

    Metropolitan Council District 7 Member Robert Lilligren added, “This is a great first step in addressing historical inequality in our neighborhoods. Too often the voices of community members who are directly impacted by these sorts of projects are drowned out by other interests. We have an opportunity with the Blue Line Extension and this Anti-Displacement Work Group to come up with direct and actionable steps that can minimize the harm, and address the concerns of the community, while ensuring this once in a generation investment benefits all of the cities and people along the corridor.”

    CURA began seeking input on the development of the workgroup starting last fall. The application period opened in December and was promoted widely to corridor communities. More than 60 applicants were interviewed before final selections were made in February by a committee that included CURA and project staff, as well as corridor community and business representatives.

    “We were overwhelmed by the level of interest and quality of applications,” said C Terrence Anderson, CURA’s Director of Community Based Research and project manager for the Anti-displacement Work Group. “I’m confident we’ve put together an exceptional group that represents corridor communities and who have the expertise, passion, and commitment to accomplish something powerful. We are looking forward to this first meeting where the group will meet each other and set a foundation for the work that is to follow in the big year ahead of us.”

    In addition to monthly public meetings, the Anti-Displacement Work Group will host four day-long workshops between May 2022 and February 2023. Each workshop will focus on a single topic or activity:

    • Lessons from the existing Blue and Green line projects
    • Housing and cultural displacement
    • Business displacement
    • Finalizing recommendations

    CURA will lead these workshops and provide qualitative and quantitative research. The work group will develop final recommendations. Input and support from community, government, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations will inform both the workshops and final recommendations. All meetings and other resources related to this effort will be available online at MyBlueLineExt.org/anti-displacement.

    Media contacts:

    Kyle Mianulli(External link)
    Communications, Hennepin County
    612-596-9875
    kyle.mianulli@hennepin.us(External link)

    Trevor Roy(External link)
    Communications, Metropolitan Council
    218-590-2465
    Trevor.Roy@metrotransit.org(External link)

    ###

  • Apply by Jan. 14: Call for anti-displacement work group applications

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    Apply for the anti-displacement work group

    Visit the CURA project website

    Background

    The METRO Blue Line Extension Light Rail Transit project will extend the existing Blue Line from Target Field Station in Minneapolis northwest to Brooklyn Park and connect communities along the way. The communities along the way include North Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park. Currently, the project is deciding between two alignments in North Minneapolis. Around this alignment work, CURA has been contracted by Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council to lead the Blue Line Extension Anti-Displacement Project. This project serves to lead the community through a project to examine the extent to which displacement is or will occur as a result of the Blue Line Extension planning, construction, and operations and support community for developing recommendations to prevent such displacement from occurring in the communities the Blue Line Extension would operate in.

    When examining major public infrastructure projects, like the Blue Line Extension, we recognize a pattern that is quite troublesome: public infrastructure investment in vulnerable communities can often exacerbate harm instead of catalyzing repair and prosperity for existing residents in proximity to those projects. We recognize that while investment in historically disinvested communities is a good thing, it often happens at the same time existing residents are being displaced. It is necessary, then, for Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council, and City governments in Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, Brooklyn Center, New Hope and Brooklyn Park to invest in the communities that the Blue Line Extension will serve through both capital investments and anti-displacement centered policy. Primarily, this investment should serve to prevent displacement, repair historical harm in disinvested communities, and build the capacity of marginalized communities to have more agency in public works projects that Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council pursues.

    Principally, Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council, and other governments have the chance, within the Blue Line Extension Project, to ensure that current residents along the planned line will not be displaced as a result of the transit investment. CURA uses our Reparative Equity Framework to support community-driven efforts towards systems and policy change. By combining our research capability and issue expertise with our community organizing approach that centers community members' vision, we think project stakeholders can produce a robust package of investment that will keep current residents to be the primary benefactors of its work.

    The Anti-Displacement Work Group will serve as a body of community that will:

    • Advise on CURA’s anti-displacement research agenda and project organizing
    • Participate in anti-displacement engagement to different interests on the project
    • Co-interpret meaning of research findings
    • Make recommendations to address displacement within Blue Line Extension Corridor, both policy and investments that the public and private sectors can implement

    Commitment

    9 Required Meetings

    • Four full Saturday meetings (in person)
      • Data/research deep dives
      • Speakers from community/governments/private interests
      • Discussion on policy/investment recommendations
      • Four themes:
        • Learnings from existing Blue/Green Lines and previous Blue Line Extension Work
        • Housing/Cultural Displacement
        • Business Displacement
        • Finalizing Recommendations
    • Four 1.5-2 hour weekday meetings (online)
      • Advising on research and engagement
    • One final 2 hour meeting (in person)

    Membership

    The Anti-Displacement Work Group will have 21 members. Work Group members will include government staff, community members, and foundation staff from major philanthropic organizations that serve the Blue Line Extension project area. We have designed the group to be made up of these members because we are looking for a broad representation of interests that exists around the project. We see the ADWG as a collection of members that can speak into the tensions that already exist around the project, advise on the best ways to engage the constituencies that they are a part of, and implementers that can assist the group in making achievable recommendations. We do not imagine that there will be one voice in this group, but rather represents the challenges that various groups in community face in presenting a vision that is both possible and impactful

    The Work Group members will include this representation:

    • 5-6 from governments
      • Hennepin County Gov
      • Metropolitan Council
      • Minneapolis City Gov
      • Robbinsdale City Gov
      • Crystal City Gov
      • Brooklyn Park City Gov
      • Role:
        • Structure recommendations back to responsible governments to get inputs
        • Assist ADWG in developing achievable recommendations
        • Provide data and other information to research team
        • Provide response back to ADWG recommendations in real time
        • Participate in general ADWG activities
    • 6-7 community members from organizations/businesses
      • 3 businesses, 3 non-profits
      • Housing and/or anti-displacement centered organizations
      • Small businesses owned and operated by people of color that have been around for awhile and are struggling to stay open
      • Role:
        • Structure recommendations and interests from organizations/partnerships back to ADWG
        • Connect research to organizations/partnerships constituencies and members
        • Participate in general ADWG activities
    • 6-7 non-affiliated community members
      • Youth
      • Person that has experienced displacement
      • Person at risk of displacement (renter/homeowner)
      • Residents from the jurisdictions within the Blue Line Extension Corridor
      • Role:
        • Participate in general ADWG activities
    • 3 Philanthropy
      • Role:
        • Structure learnings back to foundations
        • Find areas of opportunity for philanthropic support of ADWG

    Timeline

    • Applications open December 20
    • Interviews: Will occur as received through deadline
    • Deadline for applying is January 14, 2022
    • Group Announced: End of January
    • First Meeting: Early February
  • Listen: KMOJ interview with C Terrence Anderson

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    C Terrence Anderson, CURA's director of community based research, spoke live with KMOJ's Freddie Bell about the anti-displacement workgroup and the call for applications.



Page last updated: 01 Feb 2023, 06:52 AM