Legal Aid Helps Subsidized Housing Residents in Repair Dispute

Doug Clark, staff attorney with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, is helping three Saint Cloud tenants in a legal dispute about who is responsible for the extermination of bed bugs in their subsidized housing units. Clark, and deputy director Ann Cofell, are arguing that the HRA is trying to shift the responsibility for extermination onto its tenants.

According to Clark, because the HRA is leasing subsidized housing, in addition to state law, it must also comply with federal rules saying the lease agreements must be “reasonable and fair.”

“There are two layers of laws that the HRA has to comply with. The way they’ve written their lease breaks both state and federal law,” he said. “The pest control addendum we would say violates state law by passing the cost of the repair on to the tenant, which they are not allowed to do, and federal law, that says rules have to be reasonable and fair." Read the full story.