Housing Voucher Non-Discrimination in Minneapolis
UPDATE (June 8, 2018): Ongoing litigation over the ordinance may have implications for enforcement by the City of Minneapolis. Please see MPHA’s statement below.
As of May 1, 2018 the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance (Title 7, Chapter 139 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances) was amended to prohibit discrimination in rental housing on the basis of “tenant-based federal, state or local subsidies, including, but not limited to, rental assistance, rent supplements, and Housing Choice Vouchers.” (Specifically, see Section 139.40(e).)
The ordinance is enforced by the City of Minneapolis (not by MPHA). It is currently the subject of litigation that may affect the enforcement of the ordinance. The city has provided the following page for public information, which may not be active depending upon enforcement status:
On this page, you will find FAQs, hardship guidelines, and information about how to file a complaint.
MPHA Statement on Today’s Court Order Related to Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance and Tenants with Housing Vouchers (June 8, 2018)
Housing Choice Vouchers administered by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) provide essential rental subsidy to more than 5,000 of the lowest-income families in our community. MPHA’s goal is that the families we serve have as many good options as possible when searching for a home. The recent amendments to the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance were an important step in removing long-standing and often overt discrimination against families with vouchers. While we did not expect it to be a silver bullet, we hoped it would open up more places to live for these families, more widely across the city. We are disappointed by this setback to the city’s efforts, which the court order today recognized as “the result of hard work by many people of good will.”
We could not serve families in our voucher program without the partnership of hundreds of Minneapolis property owners. We look forward to working with many more to help address the city’s affordable housing needs. Regardless of the short- and long-term status of the ordinance, we will continue to work on our own and with the City of Minneapolis to encourage more owners to participate, including streamlining inspection and rent payment processes, investments in communication and customer service, and the new Property Owner Incentive Fund.
We are also working in other ways to maximize the ability of families to find safe, comfortable places to live. These recent changes include allowing more initial time to search and forging new social service partnerships focused on the housing search.