Skip to main content

Landlord says St. Paul goes too far in housing standards

  • Author:
  • Updated:

An owner of 17 low-income properties in St. Paul has filed a federal complaint against the city, according to KSTP.

Raven Financial is challenging the city's order in early 2013 to either improve or tear down a six-bedroom duplex.

The company says that St. Paul's strict code enforcement exceeds state standards, and makes it too expensive to provide affordable housing to the poor.

The complaint was filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against St. Paul, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Payne-Phalen District 5 Planning Council.

The Pioneer Press reports the property and others in the complaint are in a high-poverty neighborhood on the city's East Side. City officials say housing inspectors have found many rental units with no heat, mice infestations and other evidence that the poor are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords eager to get federal housing vouchers.

But Raven Financial's attorney, John Shoemaker, said costs for unnecessary repairs are unfair and would be passed on to tenants through rent hikes.

"The city's housing policies act as a major disincentive to continuing to provide low-income housing in St. Paul," Shoemaker wrote in a statement.

Raven Financial says it has sold off rental units in order to keep up with repair costs, fees and property taxes.

The city's website lists some of the properties and orders for repair.

The complaints mean HUD will have to decide whether St. Paul may continue its practice of forcing housing improvements and ordering demolitions of problem properties.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 7.29.00 AM

Victim of 1994 Michigan cold case murder ID'd as missing Minnesotan

Shelley Rae Kephart went missing from Hennepin County more than 28 years ago.

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.