Housing advocates to ask lawmakers for emergency rental help

Housing advocates will be calling for emergency rental assistance for Minnesotans during a news conference Thursday morning.

The group wants Gov. Tim Walz and state lawmakers to invest $330 million in additional emergency rental help and extended protections for renters.

The state’s Rent Help MN program stopped accepting applications in January.

RELATED: RentHelpMN application deadline set for 9 p.m. Friday

The group claims eviction filings have spiked statewide since then.

As previously reported earlier this month, state lawmakers are debating the future of rent regulations. The latest census data reports the Twin Cities metro area has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country.

RELATED: State lawmakers debate future of Twin Cities rent regulations

According to St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, the city of St. Paul needs about 11,000 additional apartment units to meet demand. In November, the majority-renter city passed a rent stabilization ordinance to regulate rent amid the competitive market.

The ordinance goes into effect on May 1. It sets a 3% annual rent increase limit for residential properties, with some exceptions.