6 families ordered out of condemned St. Paul housing complex

Residents protest eviction order
In a file photo, Vera Ashley, center, of the Minnesota Tenants Union stands with residents of the Westminster Court Apartments in St. Paul on Sunday, June 10, 2012. The residents were being evicted after the buildings were condemned.
MPR Photo/Rupa Shenoy

The St. Paul City Council has ordered the six families still living in a pair of condemned, 33-unit apartment buildings to move out by Monday.

The city has been trying to resolve the hundreds of code violations at the Westminster Court Apartments in the Payne-Phalen neighbrohood since last year.

The properties have since been foreclosed on, and the new owner, Pine Ridge Capital Management, has determined the only way to bring the buildings up to code is to vacate them.

Council Member Amy Brendmoen, who represents the ward where the buildings are located, says it would be dangerous to let the tenants stay there any longer.

"Displacing people and creating homelessness is never a desired outcome," Brendmoen says, "but the buildings are unsafe. They're unfit, and they're undignified and the situation is clearly not improving."

Most of the building's residents have already moved out in exchange for cash payments. Tenants who refuse to vacate the building by Monday face the possiblity of arrest.

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