Sold Out: Affordable Housing at Risk


Affordable housing is under constant threat from changing economic forces and urban development that break up vital communities. Low-income residents have fewer options, and local businesses and schools must deal with the loss of those families.  

TPT Partnerships was founded as a division of TPT-Twin Cities PBS almost 15 years ago to be a sustainable model for creating diverse local content. As part of TPT’s revenue team, TPT Partnerships collaborates with local organizations through a shared funding model. The organization contributes the cost of production while TPT-Twin Cities PBS contributes the cost of distributing, marketing, and driving the impact of the project.  

Through our Impact team, we develop and implement creative wraparound campaigns to measurably amplify the impact of the content we create on individuals, communities, public debate, infrastructure, and more. The team works with the production staff and the partner through all stages of this process.

MN Housing Partnership comprises a team of community developers, researchers, communicators, and policy advocates who work to strengthen the ability of organizations to build and preserve housing and community assets. They provide original research and educational resources to generate public support of vital communities and affordable housing. In addition, they drive efforts to secure the policies and funding needed at the regional, state, and federal levels to advance local housing and community development. 

The documentary discusses what happens when families are pushed out of their communities, as modestly priced units are replaced with upscale developments. As evidenced in MHP’s 2016 report by the same name, strong growth among renter households with higher incomes has incentivized doing this. 

Through first-hand accounts from former residents of the Crossroads at Penn, we see the devastating impacts of being pushed from a place where some had resided for decades. Interviews with elected leaders, researchers, educators, and employers, show us how the uprooting of families negatively impacts area businesses and local schools, as well as the social fabric and economic functioning of our communities. It makes clear that the current housing market fails residents struggling to make ends meet, and all of us pay the price.

The discussion guide can be viewed here:  

The film premiered in June 2017 and was screened at least eight times in the course of a year. It’s been credited with saving nearly 1,200 affordable housing units in the Twin Cities area.