Support the St. Louis Park City Council passing Advance Notice Ordinance!
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Thank you to the council for taking initial steps to address the need to preserve affordable housing in our community and protect our tenants. We appreciate the council acknowledging the issue of the lack of affordable housing in our community, voicing your support and discussing the need for ordinances such as Advance Notice of Sale, Just Cause for Eviction and Non-discrimination against Section 8 and other housing subsidy programs.
The Advance Notice of Sale provision would be a step forward in proactively preserving our communities affordable housing. This 90 day notice is crucial as it would allow non-profit developers who would preserve the affordable housing time to obtain the funds and financing to put in a competitive offer on the property. Additionally, if we are notified a property may be sold in the near future, we can work with our non-profit service providers to support families via housing locator services and moving assistance. Under the current system, it is often too late to adequately help with this transition when families have only 30-60 days to vacate. We also recommend applying this provision to multi-family properties with less than 40 units, as service providers have more capacity to provide rental subsidies and case management services to a smaller group of families at risk of losing housing.
Without an Advance Notice of Sale provision on our NOAH properties, these properties can be sold under the table to large developers who are likely to renovate the properties and increase rents. We've seen this happen in St. Louis Park and our surrounding communities. As a result, many families have become displaced and children forced to leave the school district, negatively affecting not only low-income renters, but also our schools, local businesses and our community’s diversity.
St. Louis Park has the opportunity to be a leader in taking proactive steps to preserve our affordable housing and protect our tenants, our families, our children, our schools, our businesses, our community. The time is now. The longer we take to act, the more affordable housing we will lose and the more families will be displaced.
I hope the council remembers that when we talk about housing, we are talking about people, our neighbors, and further recognizes the urgency of moving forward with the Advance Notice of Sale provision. Since many low-income renters in St. Louis Park are people of color, working to prevent them from losing their housing is, in our view, aligned with the council's commitment to racial equity. We encourage you to look at the potential enactment of this ordinance through a racial equity lens, understand the impact on people of color if it is not enacted, and move forward with the Advance Notice of Sale provision. We also look forward to more discussion surrounding the Just Cause for Eviction and Non-discrimination against Section 8 provisions and rehab finance assistance for owners of NOAH properties as it will take an array of actions to preserve affordable housing and protect our tenants.
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