What Repairs Are Required in My Apartment is a visual guide created as a collaborative effort between the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and Minneapolis neighborhood/housing organizations, including Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, who support tenant organizing.
The guide aims to increase awareness and use of City of Minneapolis ordinance that governs health, safety and welfare conditions in rental housing, known as the Housing Maintenance Code. Content of the guide has been reviewed and approved by the City of Minneapolis Department of Regulatory Services for consistency with city laws and policies.
Residents and neighborhood board members identified the need for this guide after observing that city housing inspectors do not prioritize communication with renters or promote understand of renter rights provided by existing city laws. “Many of my neighbors are afraid to take action to make the landlord perform health and safety repairs in our buildings,” said Edaín Altamirano, Board Member of Corcoran Neighborhood Organization and a project team member for this guide. “Knowing our rights as renters and what the city’s law says is an important first step towards housing justice.”
CNO Board Member, Edaín Altamirano (left), leads a focus group with families who rent in Minneapolis during the guide's development process.
Sections of the guide review common repair problems as defined by the city’s Housing Maintenance Code, as well as actions steps a renter should take and record to have the repair problem addressed. This includes how to communicate repair needs to the landlord, how to obtain a housing inspection through Minneapolis’ 3-1-1 system, and how to pursue remedies through Hennepin County Housing Court.
The guide is available in English and Spanish languages. A first run of copies are being offered to Minneapolis neighborhood groups for distribution thanks to funding from CURA and a grant from the City of Minneapolis Community Innovation Fund.
Corcoran neighborhood renters, Carlos and Karen Huerta, reviewing the repairs guide to learn how to respond to nonfunctioning heating facilities.
Community members are invited to participate in an upcoming “Cafe Con Alondra” forum about renter rights hosted by Minneapolis City Council Member Alondra Cano on Monday, December 7th, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Corcoran Park Recreation Center located at 3334 20th Ave S.
Additional materials/resources provided by Minneapolis Renters Coalition (comprised of the neighborhood associations and housing advocacy organizations) can be found online as part of the Tenant Organizing Toolkit.