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POLICY 41

Tenant Protections: Protect tenants’ rights, improve living conditions in rental housing, and ensure renters can fully participate in community life.

More than half of Minneapolis’ nearly 420,000 residents rent their housing. Renters in Minneapolis are more likely to be people of color and indigenous people and to have lower incomes. Increased rents, decreased or stagnant incomes and the loss of affordable housing units have challenged many residents in their search for affordable housing, and have put many renters at risk of living in housing that may not be decent, affordable, healthy or safe. These factors also put renters at greater risk of eviction, which exacerbates housing instability.

A lack of viable affordable housing options may discourage tenants from reporting housing code violations for fear of landlord retaliation and the loss of their housing. There may also be other personal factors that make a renter fearful of landlord retaliation, including but not limited to their legal immigration status, criminal history or simply being behind on rent.

Ensuring long-term housing stability is essential to the success of the city and its residents. This requires investments in rental housing quality, affordability and access, and investments in residents to protect civil rights and support every individual’s ability to overcome housing barriers, to access safe, decent and affordable housing, and to participate fully in community life.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to protect tenants’ rights, improve living conditions in rental housing, and ensure renters can fully participate in community life.

  1. Ensure an equitable focus of City policy and resources on promoting the ability of tenants to secure and maintain stable housing.
  2. Ensure tenants and landlords are aware of their rights.
  3. Support organizations that proactively help tenants understand and enforce their rights.
  4. Identify policy, financial, regulatory, and other incentives and disincentives that reduce evictions, support source of income protection, and expand tenant protections.
  5. Collaborate with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to expand landlord participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
  6. Ensure rental housing is well-maintained, healthy and safe through proactive policies and programs for property owners and managers, including trainings and maintenance resources.
  7. Continue to investigate and address tenants’ livability, health, and safety concerns.
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