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Hennepin challenges residential rental real estate policies

Throughout Minnesota and right here in Hennepin County there are opportunities for low income wage earners to find affordable rental housing. Federal laws require that states provide certain amounts of such housing, so that individuals of all levels of affluence have chances to get into their own properties. However, several local communities are questioning the state's implementation of that requirement and have made their challenge in the form of a complaint based in the Fair Housing Act.

Three communities and one organization -- Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Richfield and the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing -- are parties to the complaint. They have alleged that the majority of low-income rental housing is in non-affluent neighborhoods. The communities and group want the state to spread such housing opportunities out, including into the predominantly white suburbs of the Twin Cities.

The parties to the complaint believe that the concentration of low income housing in their communities has led to segregation and increased poverty. They would like to make policy changes now as the Metropolitan Council prepares to vote on housing policies for the first time in almost thirty years. Changes could lead to a different distribution of housing options throughout communities inside and outside of Hennepin County.

Finding affordable residential properties in the Twin Cities can be challenging for individuals who earn modest incomes. Residential real estate prices in both the sales and rental markets can cover a wide range of prices depending upon the neighborhoods included in the search. Individuals who have questions about affordable housing and other residential real estate matters may choose to speak with real estate attorneys in their communities.

Source: MPR News, "Twin Cities suburbs file housing complaint against state," Sasha Aslanian, Nov. 10, 2014

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