Minneapolis, MN – Over the past four months, at least three news articles have been published, after Ward Six residents, living in unsafe conditions, reached out to members of the news media to share their frustrations because their landlords have failed to meet their obligations.
In an article published by the Star Tribune on December 21, 2022, residents in the Five15 on the Park apartments in Cedar-Riverside wrote in a petition that they would no longer accept “fentanyl foils and alcohol containers sitting on the ground for days that can be picked up by children”. When reached for comment, Ward Six Council Member Jamal Osman stated “Five15’s problems aren’t unique”.
In an article published by Sahan Journal on March 10, 2023, residents in the East Village apartments in Elliot Park expressed frustration that repairs were taking months, forcing residents to live in unsafe conditions. One resident, age 80, explained that his apartment became a “jail” because the elevator was inoperable for a month. These frustrated residents reached out to members of the state legislature for help.
On April 6, 2023, Fox 9 published an article regarding the unsafe conditions the residents in the Lanoke Apartments in Stevens Square were living in. One resident stated that she felt “abandoned” and felt like she lived in a “garbage dump”. This resident explained that she was assaulted after she tried to stop a squatter from stealing her mail. The article states that police responded to that property more than 75 times in the past three months. The majority of these calls were due to an “unwanted person” being on the property. This property also had 17 violations that were unresolved since last summer. When reached for comment, Council Member Osman stated that he was “surprised that we are letting this apartment continue operating in the city of Minneapolis”.
All these stories show frustrated Ward Six residents who have been the victims of an unresponsive city government. The city of Minneapolis must levy fines that are commensurate with the violations at these properties. The city must also follow up to see if property owners have addressed the violations and take meaningful action if they have not. When the city of Minneapolis fails to take meaningful action to address the violations at these properties, who mostly rent to low-income and minority residents, it sends the message that these residents are not worthy of safe living conditions.
Finally, the city must follow up to see what response MPD has taken when they have arrived at these apartments for calls related to an unwanted person. Residents should not have to live in fear of being assaulted and property owners should not have to delay repairs because of threats of violence from those damaging and trespassing on their property.