More evictions ahead for Minnesotans behind on rent

·2 min read

Another wave of Minnesotans who are behind on their rent could face evictions this week.

What's happening: Starting Tuesday, property owners can end leases for any legal reason and file to evict tenants who are behind on rent but haven't applied to the state's rent assistance program.

  • Landlords are required to give 15-day notice.

Why it matters: Evictions destabilize families and have financial repercussions that make it difficult to rent in the future.

  • Landlords, meanwhile, argued this summer that the ongoing protections were putting them in a tough spot, especially when it came to evicting problematic tenants.

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

The big picture: The change is one of the last steps of an "off-ramp" lawmakers crafted to wind down a state moratorium on evictions enacted during the pandemic.

  • Under the law, tenants with pending rental assistance applications cannot be evicted for nonpayment until June 1, 2022, when all protections are lifted.

Yes, but: The slow distribution of the $672 million in federal rental assistance funds is frustrating renters and landlords.

  • As of Oct. 7, the state had sent payments for about 30% of the roughly 49,000 applications for assistance via the RentHelpMN program, to the tune of $120 million.

Zoom in: An estimated 50,000 Minnesota households — about 8% of the state's renters — are behind on their payments, per the nonprofit PolicyLink's Rent Debt dashboard.

  • Most are low-income and about 40% are unemployed. Half have children.

  • The vast majority —close to 90% — have not applied for assistance or are still waiting for a response.

What's next: State housing officials say they've taken steps to speed up the process of vetting rental assistance applications, per The Minnesota Reformer.

Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting