The 2023 Legislative Session has wrapped, and Minnesota renters have a lot to celebrate! Housing justice advocates pushed for the successful passage of many new tenant protections and new funding for rental assistance.
HJC priorities that passed include:
- Emergency rental assistance fast-track: This bill secured $50 million in emergency rental assistance through the Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance Program. We also need ongoing funding to ensure that emergency rental assistance reaches renters who need it most.
- Universal vouchers/rental supports: This bill secured ongoing funding for the first-ever general rental assistance voucher program in the state: Bring It Home, Minnesota. Nearly 5,500 low-income families will receive new vouchers.
- Pre-eviction notice: Landlords are now required to notify tenants in writing 14 days before filing an eviction action for nonpayment of rent (effective January 1, 2024).
- Expungement reform: An eviction will no longer automatically appear on a tenant’s record until the court renders a landlord-favorable judgment. Eviction expungements will also become much more accessible (effective January 1, 2024).
- Nonpayment eviction protection: Evictions for nonpayment of rent are prohibited when a tenant has a pending rental assistance application (effective January 1, 2024).
HOME Line wrote a great blog post about these new eviction and expungement reforms if you want to dig deeper.
The work doesn’t stop here. Alongside our partners, Housing Justice Center will continue to push for critical priorities like source of income discrimination protection in 2024. Source of income discrimination protection is crucial because none of our social welfare programs can work the way they should if renters continue to struggle to utilize vouchers. HJC will also advocate for a statewide tenant right to organize and a limit on rent increases for certain affordable rental properties.
We have a long way to go to ensure that all Minnesotans have a safe, stable, dignified, and affordable place to call home free from discriminatory barriers. But these foundational policy wins move us one step closer towards advancing housing justice for all of us.