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Minneapolis mayor pitching program to increase affordable housing

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Jacob Frey sits for a portrait
Jacob Frey, then Minneapolis mayor-elect, sits for a portrait inside the Kling Public Media Center before an interview in St. Paul on Dec. 4, 2017.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2017

Updated: April 23, 5:31 a.m. | Posted: April 22, 7:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he hopes a new pilot program aimed at increasing affordable housing opportunities can continue to grow.

Frey unveiled his new plan called 4d earlier this month. If property owners are willing to keep rent for 20 percent of their units at what is considered an affordable housing rate for that area, the city will give landlords a 20 percent break on their property taxes.

Frey said Sunday that the program is a start to keeping more Minneapolis residents from experiencing homelessness.

"This is not easy thing to go through. It's traumatic, it's difficult," Frey said of homelessness. "We have up to 30 percent of our children in Minneapolis public schools right now that have housing instability; 9 percent of them are experiencing homelessness. That's a staggering figure and we've got to do something about it."

Frey said 40 units in the city have agreed to participate so far. He said he hopes to turn the temporary program into a long-term plan with help from state lawmakers.