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.
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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.
Meanwhile, nonprofits and state and local leaders are stepping up efforts to help renters in need apply for the aid.
Expect eviction notices to continue to pick up, as they did following earlier steps in the phase-out.
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