Evictions rise as state COVID-19 protections begin to lift

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Housing experts say rental evictions are rising in Minnesota as state protections adopted because of COVID-19 are beginning to east. As of last week, a 15-day notice is no longer required before an eviction notice is filed over delinquent rent.

Lease terminations can also occur more easily. For some, a pending application for financial aid through RentHelpMN can be a lifeline. The program distributes federal money aimed at preventing pandemic-related problems.

To date, nearly 50,000 applications have come in through RentHelpMN for assistance tied to past-due rent or utilities.

About $144 million has been distributed with many more requests pending.

A federal freeze on most evictions expired on July 31, but elements of Minnesota’s eviction moratorium are expected to remain in place until June 1, 2022. On September 2, Jennifer Ho, the Commissioner of Minnesota Housing said the state has paid nearly $47 million dollars in rent help. This equals 10% of its total funds.

According to the Minnesota Housing website, all lease termination and eviction protections were lifted on October 12, except for eligible renters with pending COVID-19 rental assistance applications. On June 1, 2022, all lease termination and eviction protections will be lifted.