Department of Civil Rights

Velma J. Korbel, Director

350 S. 5th St., Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: (612) 673-3012
Fax: (612) 673-2599
TTY: (612) 673-2157

Office Hours:
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Housing Discrimination Amendments

About

Families in Minneapolis who participate in public assistance programs face an especially challenging task of finding affordable housing in Minneapolis. While the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance has always prohibited discrimination based on a person’s receipt of public assistance, the City Council passed the Housing Discrimination Amendments (HDA) in March 2017, to clarify the City of Minneapolis’ original intention that discrimination is prohibited based on both receipt of public assistance, including the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) but better known as Section 8) and any requirement of a public assistance program.


The Housing Discrimination Amendments to the civil rights ordinance, in effect as of May 1, 2018, prohibit landlords from denying public assistance participants the opportunity to apply for available housing, or refusing to rent to potential tenants because of the requirements of a public assistance program. The amendments also prohibit landlords from imposing unique rental standards or otherwise treating potential public assistance tenants differently from other tenants.

HDA infographic

 

The "undue hardship" provision of the ordinance provides an affirmative defense available to landlords who can prove that adherence to the requirements of a public assistance program would pose significant expense or difficulty.

For more information on the Housing Discrimination Amendments, please see the Resources section below to download the FAQs and Guidelines on Undue Hardship.

For Landlords

Exemptions

  • The Housing Discrimination Amendments prohibit landlords from denying those receiving public assistance the opportunity to apply for available housing or refusing to rent to potential tenants because of the requirements of a public assistance program, the ordinance exempts the following:

    • Owner living in a single family home, renting a room or rooms in that single family home;
    • Owner renting a unit for less than 36 months and the unit was owner-occupied at the beginning of the 36-month period;
    • An owner or someone with an ownership interest in a two (2) dwelling unit (including a townhome) is renting one of the units and the owner lives in the other unit; or
    • An owner on active military duty and the owner is renting a unit that was owner-occupied at the start of the active military duty.
  • The HDA does not limit an exempt landlord from accepting tenants who receive a public assistance program.

Undue Hardship and Guidelines

  • The Housing Discrimination Amendments create an affirmative defense for landlords if complying with the requirements of a public assistance program presents an undue burden. For more information, on the Undue Hardship Defense, including information on how to raise that defense, click here

  • Additionally, the Department is accepting public comment on the draft guidelines until May 30, 2018. To submit a comment, download the Undue Hardship Guidelines and submit your comment by clicking here

Minneapolis Property Owner Incentive Fund Pilot Program

  • While there is no data to suggest that public assistance participants cause more damage to property, the City of Minneapolis in conjunction with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) has created an Incentive Fund to provide limited financial support to landlords in their acceptance of tenants who hold a Section 8 voucher. The Incentive Fund aims to eliminate barriers to acceptance of Section 8 voucher holders and supports the following eligible expenses:

    • Payment of repairs for damages caused by HCV (or Section 8) tenants in excess of a security deposit; 
    • Reimbursement to property owners of vacancy losses due to prorated rent payments; and
    • Payment of a one-time incentive fee for first time property owner participation.
  • Landlords may download the Incentive Fund Claim Form and return it to the MPHA by emailing [email protected] or by faxing a completed form to 612-335-4427.

How to Report a Violation

For more information on how to report a violation, please click here.

Resources

Contact

Complaint Investigations Division

Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights

350 South 5th St., Room 239

Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-3012

Fax: 612-673-2599

Para asistencia 612-673-2700,
Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800,
Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Last updated May 23, 2018

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Accessibility:
For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

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