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Renters would get additional eviction protections under omnibus housing bill

To reduce housing displacement, landlords could be barred from immediately filing evictions for late rent, and to reduce barriers to finding housing, renters could have an easier time getting past evictions removed from their records.

These are among the potential outcomes of the omnibus housing finance and policy bill.

The House Housing Finance and Policy Committee on Tuesday heard a delete-all amendment to HF1077, sponsored by Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul).

Public testimony on the bill will be taken Wednesday, at which point the committee might also vote on it.

The companion, SF969, is sponsored by Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) and awaits action by the Senate Housing Finance and Policy Committee.

The bill would require landlords to give tenants who have not paid rent a notice with the amount due and information on how to get rental and legal assistance. Landlords would then be required to wait two weeks before filing an eviction.

The provision would not apply under Gov. Tim Walz's pandemic-related eviction ban.

Advocates say the provision would give landlords and tenants more time to reach agreements and could allow more renters to access financial assistance. But housing providers say it could lead to more eviction filings by removing the incentive landlords have to reach informal agreements with tenants who are not making rent.

The bill would also expunge all dismissed eviction cases, all evictions more than three years old and all evictions in which the tenant prevailed or in which settlement terms were fulfilled.

Other notable policy provisions would:

  • prohibit landlords from imposing ongoing fees that do not relate to a service, such as parking;
  • require landlords to provide heat at a minimum temperature of 68 degrees from Oct. 1 to April 30;
  • require landlords to give 24 hours' notice, as opposed to "reasonable" notice, before entering units, and only enter between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.;
  • allow tenants to terminate leases if they enter a nursing home, hospice, licensed boarding care facility, assisted living, adult foster care, intensive mental health residential program or an accessible unit;
  • provide an attorney to public housing tenants who are subject to eviction actions; and
  • allow mobile homes located in parks owned by nonprofit cooperatives to be considered permanently affixed to the property, thereby allowing the owners to access traditional mortgage financing.

Funding provisions

The bill would also increase the Housing Finance Agency's General Fund allocation by over 20% next biennium, boosting funding for workforce housing, homeless and highly mobile families with school-aged children and more.

It would also create a lead-safe homes grant program and a task force on the rights of people who live in homeless shelters.


What's in the bill?

The following are selected bills that have been incorporated in part or in whole into the omnibus housing finance and policy bill:

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