Gov. Walz suspends evictions in Minnesota during COVID-19 pandemic

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Governor Tim Walz today signed an executive order suspending evictions in Minnesota as the state moves to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

The order asks that tenants would pay rent to continue to do so, but prohibits landlords and financial institutions from using state courts to begin eviction proceedings.

“Loss of housing is catastrophic at any time, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, this loss endangers the health and well-being of all Minnesotans,” the governor's office said in a press release.

Walz's move was hailed by progressive groups like Twin Cities DSA and Take Action Minnestoa who had organized campaigns calling Walz and other officials to halt evictions.

The Minnesota MultiFamily Housing Authority, a organization representing landlords statewide, had previously issued its own list or recommendations over the weekend, including the halting of evictions for tenants affected by COVID-19.

MMHA also asked landlords to waive late fees, offer flexible payment plans, and cease new rent increases, as well as communicate proactively with residents about any housing issues and resources that may be available to them.

“We hope that these guidelines ease renters’ fears, provide our government leaders guidance, and illustrate our member's willingness to share in the sacrifices related to COVID-19 without further disrupting a fragile rental housing market throughout Minnesota,” MHA President Cecil Smith said.

Walz issued two additional orders on Monday, one establishing a small business emergency loan program and another directing non-hospital healthcare providers to conduct an inventory of their protective equipment and relevant medical equipment, including N94 masks, ventilators, respirators, and anesthesia machine, and to "either donate such equipment to a local coordinating entity or preserve it."