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Mpls. City Council approves measure to assist tenants facing eviction

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Rosemary Williams
Rosemary Williams protest her pending eviction from her foreclosed home in May 2009 outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis. A City Council committee on Wednesday approved a measure to help low-income tenants facing eviction in the city.
Madeleine Baran | MPR News 2009

Low-income renters facing eviction in Minneapolis may soon have a new avenue for legal help.

A City Council committee on Wednesday approved a $650,000, two-year contract with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid to assist low-income tenants who've received eviction notices to take on their landlords in housing court.

The panel's action follows an existing agreement with Legal Aid that helps renters get their landlords to correct code violations.

Andrea Brennan, director of housing policy and development for the city, said it'll help level the playing field.

"About 10 percent of tenants facing evictions have legal representation compared with more than 50 percent of rental property owners," Brennan said. "Research shows that tenants with legal representation have much better outcomes in housing court around eviction cases than tenants who are not represented."

The contract, if approved by Minneapolis City Council, would run through July of 2021.