PASSED: St. Paul S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protection Ordinance
July 21, 2020
The Saint Paul S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections Ordinance has Passed
The Saint Paul City Council passed the S.A.F.E. (Stable, Accessible, Fair, and Equitable) Housing Tenant Protections Ordinance after months of discussion and amendments. The ordinance passed unanimously on July 8. It was signed by Mayor Carter on July 14 and will go into effect on March 1, 2021.
The ordinance was originally sponsored by five of the seven Councilmembers: Council President Amy Brendmoen, Councilmember Mitra Jalali, Councilmember Rebecca Noecker, Councilmember Jane Prince, and Councilmember Nelsie Yang. It was proposed to help combat the housing shortage in the Twin Cities and creates a chapter of rights for renters.
The changes that were approved within the ordinance include Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Information, Security Deposit Limits, Tenant Screening Guidelines, Just Cause Notice, and Advance Notice of Sale. For an abridged version, please visit: https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/mayors-office/safe-housing
According to Councilmember Jalali, “It’s traveled a very long journey, and I believe it couldn’t have come at a more important time,” referencing the ordinance in regards to the global pandemic, economic downturn, and civil unrest that has shaken the country.
Councilmember Prince stated, “I regret we were not able to get landlords, tenants and advocates in a room to hammer out equitable solutions together”. When SPAAR spoke to Councilmember Prince, she stated that it would have been a more well-rounded ordinance had the associations and landlords been involved from the inception. She is an advocate for having SPAAR members involved throughout the implementation.
Up until the vote passed on July 8, SPAAR Advocacy staff were speaking to and attempting to delay the vote by the City Council. SPAAR believes that more time and input should have been given to the stakeholders before the vote was signed into law. SPAAR will continue to be in contact with the City Councilmembers and relevant city departments in the hopes of being included on the implementation team. As more information becomes readily available, SPAAR will share with REALTOR® members. This will ensure that the 7,400 voices of the REALTORS® are included moving forward. SPAAR is also committed to partnering with the city to advance housing equity.
SPAAR members have expressed support for and opposition to the passed ordinance, with a wide variance in opinion. It will have a lasting impact on housing, properties, and tenant/landlord relationships in the area. Throughout the implementation process, it is ever important for REALTORS® to continue to remain involved and communicate with SPAAR and the City Council.
For all information pertaining to the Saint Paul S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections Ordinance, please visit https://stpaul.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4386792&GUID=CAC11254-88C1-4CE0-BBF5-FE35D52366E8&Options=&Search=. For any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact SPAAR’s Advocacy Team.
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