Pro Bono News

Minneapolis Buys Nine Properties to House Displaced Tenants

Monday, September 24, 2018

Minneapolis Buys Nine Properties to House Displaced Tenants

"The city of Minneapolis was faced with a housing crisis partly of its own making last December after it revoked 40 rental licenses of Mahmood Khan, a North Side landlord with a record of rundown rental properties.

With some of the tenants facing imminent homelessness, the City Council voted in August to buy eight remodeled homes and a duplex for $2 million. They’ve rented them to former Khan tenants.

“Aside from the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, which is a separate entity, this may be the first time in city history that the city is the landlord of residential rental housing,” said Larry McDonough, who is pro bono counsel at the Dorsey & Whitney law firm and has been practicing tenant and landlord law for 35 years.

Efforts are also being made by a nonprofit to buy six Khan properties and renovate them so six other families who don’t want to move can stay in their homes. About 20 other families have been relocated.

The city will be in the rental business for the nine properties for up to five years. The 10 families, along with other Khan tenants, will be helped along for the first year with a $500 per month subsidy from Minneapolis Public Housing and will have an option, with the city’s help in obtaining financing, to buy the homes.

Andrea Brennan, the city’s director of housing policy and development, said the city worked hard to acquire the properties by Aug. 31, the date by which tenants had to vacate Khan’s homes under orders of Hennepin County Court Referee Mark Labine. He had ruled them uninhabitable and too expensive to repair..."

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