Duluth residents rally and march for more affordable housing
Several Duluth residents held a rally and banded together for a march for affordable housing within the city. Members of the Duluth Community Housing Alliance marched from the Nettleton Elementary down to the Clayton-Jackson-McGhei memorial.
Carl Sack, one of the organizers for the event said people are protesting against high rent rates, not enough temporary housing, and no long-term solutions for people without homes.
“We can’t just gentrify our way out of the housing crisis,” Sack said. “We need real solutions that cater to all income levels in the city, especially those who are dealing with poverty and low income, but also the middle class folks.”
Sack said many properties sold to developers in Duluth are now luxury apartments that people can’t afford. One of the properties Sack said has seen little to no renovation is the Nettelton Elementary.
“That building was vacated as part of the Red Plan a decade ago,” Sack said. “Now it still sits empty after the city sold it to property developer across the street who said they were going to turn it into housing and they’ve done nothing with it.”
Sack said other properties see no renovations for several years, leading to squatters and people without homes inhabiting them.
John Krumm, a Duluth resident, said Duluth residents at the rally also listened to stories from people struggling to find affordable housing.
“It would be good if there are actual units that people could get,” Krumm said. “Right now, we only have maybe a couple of hundred people at most a year who can find housing with vouchers and with 3600 people on the waiting list.”
Krumm said only about 50% of people who try to find housing using vouchers, but people in Duluth still struggle with affordable housing.
“It’s a cruel conveyor belt of disappointment. We want Duluth to open up more housing, but we want it to be housing that’s actually for people and not for profit.”