Bloomberg, August 9, 2023, First American City to Tame Inflation Owes Its Success to Affordable Housing
In May, the Twin Cities became the first major metropolitan area to see annual inflation fall below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. Its 1.8% pace of price increases was the lowest of any region that month.
That’s largely due to a region-wide push to address one of the most intractable issues for both the Fed and American consumers: rising housing costs. Well before pandemic-related supply-chain snarls and labor shortages roiled the economy, the city of Minneapolis eliminated zoning that allowed only single-family homes and since 2018 has invested $320 million for rental assistance and subsidies.
That helped unleash a boom in construction of apartments and condos in the region that proved to be a powerful antidote against inflation, given that the cost of shelter accounts for more than a third of the overall US consumer-price index. Minneapolis shelter prices were up at half the nation’s annual pace in May.