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Group in Minneapolis rallies to protest evictions during COVID-19 pandemic

Crystal Bui
Updated: June 30, 2020 06:55 PM
Created: June 30, 2020 06:48 PM

The group United Renters for Justice is calling for reforms of the bank system to assist with housing or mortgage back-payments until the economy recovers. 

On Tuesday, a rally was planned to "march against evictions" in Minneapolis.

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Organizers say hundreds of renters have been unable to pay rent for months because of the pandemic and shouldn't face evictions when the governor lifts the moratorium.

In March, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order that would suspend evictions during this peace-time emergency, in an effort to keep people in stable housing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"Our goal is to stop evictions, especially evictions that happen during the COVID-19 pandemic and to also cancel rent and mortgages that our tenants are accruing," said Hamza Hassan, a rally organizer.

Tenants behind on rent in pandemic face harassment, eviction

The governor's office has not indicated any plans to end a moratorium against doing that during the peace-time emergency, saying tenant protections are still needed during the pandemic.

The group says the overall lack of affordable housing options during a crisis is to blame. 

"Tenants (are) being asked to pay these ridiculously large amounts of rent," said Hassan. 
 
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is considering terminating Minneapolis parks as a refuge space.

A resolution is on the table to limit the number of parks with encampments to no greater than ten parks, capping that at no more than ten tents in any park encampment.

"I would say it's wrong for them to do that, to limit the amount of tents you can have in a certain area without actually addressing the main issue," Hassan said
 
Those who need to report a landlord who isn't following the peacetime emergency can access the Minnesota Tenant Eviction Complaint Form here.


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