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Affordable Housing for Artists

A-Mills Lofts in Minneapolis

Artists finding affordable housing has always been a problem, especially when looking at options designed specifically for artists. Alana Semuels writes in The Atlantic about subsidized housing for artists in Minneapolis: “Set on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, the A-Mill lofts include a penthouse resident lounge, a fitness center, a yoga studio, free wi-fi, dishwashers, and studios for painting, pottery, dance, and music.” Even though many of these lofts-for-creatives are built in minority neighborhoods, the residents tend to be primarily white artists “who have incomes below the median for the area but above the average affordable-housing tenant.”

It is really too bad that in the quest for an affordable living situation artists tend to be at the frontline of gentrification. Here is an interesting read by Keith Plocek from 2007 in the Houston Press about the old Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston being turned into Elder Street Artist Lofts and its problems. “Finding affordable live-work space in this city has almost always required creativity and a willingness to get a little dirty. Nestor Topchy once lived in a plastic yurt on a loading dock, only to move to a metal shack. Rick Lowe squatted in an old barn. Jeff Elrod slept in a hut inside a leaky warehouse.”

Time to get creative. Beware of housing “designed for working artists“.

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