City departments helping elderly, disabled, and low-income residents handle housing violations

Two City departments have teamed up to help homeowners who are elderly, disabled, or low-income to address housing violations on their properties and bring these properties up to code.

The Housing Inspection Services division of Regulatory Services is dedicating a full-time employee to assist the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department in helping property owners understand the steps they are required to take when there are housing violations at their property. Housing Inspection Services plays an important role in making sure that housing in Minneapolis meets basic standards so everyone has a safe, quality place to live. Sometimes that involves taking enforcement action to require owners to bring their properties up to code. However, enforcement and fines can be a hardship for home owners when they are elderly, disabled, or low-income.

The City wants to help folks avoid escalating fines and take care of serious problems so they don’t lead to the condemnation of their property. That’s why this position has been created within the Neighborhood and Community Relations department, effective June 17, 2013. The Regulatory Services person assigned to this position will work to develop ways the City enforcement system can better address the complex issues that come up when property owners are not able to resolve their housing violations on their own. They will also assist property owners who need help addressing code violations, so those folks can remain living in their homes. The goal is that code enforcement will not be a hardship, but a solution for resolving the problems with their property. Developing new strategies and aligning with Neighborhood and Community Relations strategies will not only help people better address issues on their properties, but it will also means those properties won’t continue to be a drain on the City’s enforcement resources. 

If residents need help in their home regarding repairs or chore services they should call 311 and they’ll be connected to local groups and nonprofits that provide support.

Published Jul. 25, 2013