Minneapolis council approves right to lawyer for tenants facing eviction

Minneapolis City Council has approved an ordinance granting the right to legal assistance to low-income tenants facing evictions.

The goal of the ordinance is to serve tenants with incomes below 200% of federal poverty guidelines, according to a press release issued by the city on Friday.

The action comes as the statewide moratorium on evictions expires on Tuesday. Tenants with pending COVID-19 rental assistance requests are protected from eviction.

Any tenant of rental accommodation in Minneapolis is covered by the ordinance, including those living in a building operated by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.

The ordinance did not specify the conditions of income. A program director for the project “may” establish additional qualifications, including income levels, depending on the language of the order.

“Having access to a lawyer can make the difference between keeping or losing your home,” City Council President Lisa Bender said in the press release. “The right to a lawyer is an important part of a policy package aimed at keeping people in safe and stable housing in our city, and which reaches households at high risk of homelessness.”

Renters can apply for COVID-19 rental assistance at renthelpmn.org.

Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759

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