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Minnesota Eviction Numbers See Dramatic Decline in Past Decade (MN)

Monday, February 17, 2020

Minnesota Eviction Numbers See Dramatic Decline in Past Decade

"The number of court orders evicting Minnesota renters from their homes has dropped by a third in the past decade, reflecting an improving economy and greater awareness of how an eviction judgment can derail a tenant’s future housing options.

It’s a glimmer of positive news amid Minnesota’s affordable housing crisis, attributed to a rise of eviction prevention programs, more tenants getting lawyers and the end of the foreclosure crisis. Evictions disproportionately affect households of color and families in low-income areas, according to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

In recent years, more than 17,000 evictions have been filed in housing courts across Minnesota, falling substantially since the days of the foreclosure crisis when banks were regularly evicting homeowners who had defaulted on their loans, according to a Star Tribune analysis of court data.

These days, 40% of eviction filings in Minnesota are resulting in eviction orders, down from about 50% a decade ago, while a growing share end in settlements between tenants and landlords, in which they agree on the payment of owed rent or that tenants will leave without evictions on their records.

Hennepin and Ramsey counties account for nearly a third of the eviction judgments in Minnesota. The counties saw 22% and 39% decreases respectively over a decade. In the same time period, Dakota County saw its eviction judgments drop by more than half and Anoka County saw its numbers drop by 38%. Meanwhile, St. Louis County only saw a 3% decrease.

More resources for tenants is why Tarryel Powell was able to avoid an eviction thanks to help from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. She went to Hennepin County housing court in December, after the landlord of her St. Louis Park apartment sought to evict her for failing to pay the fees for noise violations. She was getting the violations frequently even though she denied she was noisy.

Her case was dismissed and the eviction filing expunged from her record. But the incident was “a whole mental process” that left her crying in her apartment some days, worried about what might happen to her and her three grandchildren if they could not find a home in the middle of winter..."

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