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The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in Minneapolis this week approved a contract with the Center of Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to establish an Anti-Displacement Work Group related to the design and construction of the proposed Blue Line Extension of light-rail service.
The action to invest in anti-displacement is intended to support corridor residents, businesses and equitable development in the corridor, according to a news release.
Last spring, the Blue Line Extension project began a new route identification process for sections of the corridor that were previously planned in freight railroad right-of-way. Through the project’s public engagement process, community partners voiced displacement prevention was a top priority as development of the Blue Line Extension continues.
Community and business members shared that, while investment has many benefits, rising costs of housing and changing neighborhood dynamics could displace current residents and businesses both directly and indirectly from their community, county officials said in the release.
The work group will be made up of community leaders, residents and businesses owners who could be most impacted by the threat of displacement, as well as other experts, staff and policymakers from Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council, and the Blue Line Extension corridor cities of Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park.
CURA plans to also seek input from more than 5,000 individual corridor residents and stakeholders over the course of its contract.
The Blue Line Extension light-rail transit project will extend the existing Blue Line from Target Field Station northwest to Brooklyn Park and connect communities along the way.