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A Story Of Hope: Tenants Managed To Evict Their Landlord By Buying The Building

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  • Tip Bones

After a hesitant Minneapolis City Council meeting allowance to speak, 80 tenants pleaded their case. For years, these residents have been in a constant battle with their landlord, Stephen Frenz, over living conditions and fighting against eviction.While they managed to get the city to revoke Frenz's renter's license, the building was still under his name. Since then, he had made all efforts to evict his tenants in order to renovate then sell the building. 

“I’m hours or days from being evicted, and I don’t think the city has deemed this pertinent enough to be involved and to take responsibility,” said Vanessa del Campo Chacón, an immigrant from Mexico while the Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia (United Renters for Justice), Roberto de la Riva, translated by her side. 

Vanessa's neighbor Chloé Jackson spoke up after her saying that they don't know how long they have until they hav etc leave their residence. "You guys get to go home tonight, sleep in the comfort of your beds,” she Jackson. “We have to wonder about this every single night.”

In an economy overturned by a pandemic, one in six tenants had not been able to make their rent on time, according to a Household Pulse Survey. 

The tenants made an offer to Frenz to buy the building. He claimed he'll take a look at it, but turned it down after deciding it was too low. They made a second offer along with Land Bank Twin Cities, which was also not accepted. 

Jackson's case went to court and heard by a jury, and the jury decided in her benefit, which allowed her to stay. 

Months later, their contact at Land Bank Twin Cities, Eddie Landenberger, sent them a text. It read: "we closed." The tenants "yelled and whooped," reported the New York Times. THEy had finally managed to buy the building from their landlord and become their own tenants. 

Source: The New York Times

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