Twin Cities offer lessons on preserving housing affordability


Displacement fears abound along a planned light rail line in Hamilton, Ontario, which sits about an hour northwest of Buffalo, NY at the western end of Lake Ontario. Recently, a tour group of officials from Hamilton visited the Twin Cities looking for solutions to displacement, housing affordability, and other potential issues. They found plenty of ideas.

The Green Line, an 11-mile transit corridor between Minneapolis and St. Paul, is proof that planning can support a city’s larger goals and promote collaboration among community groups. The Central Corridor Funders Collaborative was key to helping local organizations set housing goals which have led to the construction and preservation of over 3,500 affordable housing units. The Collaborative also “raised $12 million to help businesses survive construction and low-income tenants stay put along the new transit line.” (Hamilton Spectator)

And while $4 billion has been invested in development along the Green Line, more of it was available for equitable development because of lessons learned along the Blue Line, the region’s first light rail line. The Blue Line was prone to developers “snapping up prime land around stations before and after the line opened in 2004.” (Hamilton Spectator) Learning from that experience, some properties along the Green Line were purchased ahead of time, preserving opportunities to capture value and enable more equitable development outcomes rather than ones driven purely by the market.

For more on community-driven planning for TOD and ways businesses can be supported during transit construction, visit

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.

  • Bill to give BART zoning power on parking lot land goes to CA governor’s desk (KQED)
  • Design guidelines for Reston’s TOD seek comment (Reston Now)
  • MARTA and Dekalb County reveal TOD plans for I-20 east corridor (Champion News)
  • New Metra station could replace wheat mill (Curbed Chicago)