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St. Louis Park City Council enacts tenant protection ordinance

City is first in state to pass ordinance protecting affordable housing tenants during ownership changes

Post Date:April 16, 2018 9:30 PM

At its April 16, 2018, meeting, the St. Louis Park City Council adopted an ordinance enacting a tenant protection period following the sale of an affordable housing building, with the goal of protecting lower-income tenants in the city. St. Louis Park is the first city in the state to adopt such an ordinance.

The tenant protection ordinance was recommended by a city-convened workgroup that includes representatives from MN Multi-Housing Association, the St. Louis Park rental community and representatives from agencies advocating for the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH). The purpose of the workgroup was to review and discuss the NOAH preservation strategies being considered by the city council and to seek general agreement on workable solutions.

Under the ordinance, new owners of affordable housing would be required to pay relocation benefits to tenants if the owner increases the rent, re-screens existing residents or implements non-renewals of leases without cause, within a three-month period following the ownership transfer of the property and the tenant chooses to move due to these actions.

NOAH properties are defined as buildings where at least 18% of the units have rents affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% Area Median Income (AMI); the 18% mirrors the percent of affordable housing required at 60% AMI by the city’s Inclusionary Housing Policy.

The ordinance will take effect July 1, 2018. Prior to that date, city staff will be working on a notification process to ensure the St. Louis Park rental community – including owners, property managers and tenants – as well as tenant assistance organizations are informed and understand the requirements of the ordinance.

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