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HF 4541

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 04/29/2020 04:34pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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5.1

A bill for an act
relating to housing; providing eviction and mortgage foreclosure protection and
emergency housing assistance during a public health emergency; requiring a report;
prescribing penalties for false statements; appropriating money.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. new text beginEVICTION NOTICE AND LATE FEES; STATE OF EMERGENCY.
new text end

new text begin (a) In the event of a public health emergency, as defined in paragraph (d), the following
actions are prohibited for 90 days after March 24, 2020, within the jurisdiction of the public
health emergency:
new text end

new text begin (1) charging of late fees for the late payment of rent; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the termination of a rental agreement.
new text end

new text begin (b) Upon the end of a public health emergency, as defined in paragraph (d), a landlord
may not begin the process for an eviction against a tenant except on 30 days' notice, which
may not be given until after the moratorium period has expired.
new text end

new text begin (c) Nothing in this section reduces the rent owed by the tenant to the landlord, prevents
the landlord from collecting rent owed, reduces arrears owed by a tenant for rent, or alters
the terms of the lease between the landlord and tenant.
new text end

new text begin (d) For the purposes of this section, "public health emergency" means the peacetime
emergency declared by the governor on March 13, 2020, in Executive Order 20-01 in
response to COVID-19 or any other peacetime emergency declared by the governor by an
executive order issued within 30 days of Executive Order 20-01 that relates to the infectious
disease COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginFORECLOSURE; STATE OF EMERGENCY.
new text end

new text begin No request for notice of a mortgage foreclosure by advertisement may be recorded and
no action may commence under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 580 or 581, for 90 days after
the declaration of a public health emergency if the residence mortgaged is located in the
jurisdiction where the public health emergency has been called, except for an action necessary
to protect holders of bonds issued under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 462A. Nothing in this
section alters the mortgage payments owed, any other obligations under the mortgage, or
the pledge made by the state to holders of bonds issued under chapter 462A. For the purposes
of this section, "public health emergency" has the meaning given in section 1, paragraph
(d). This section applies to actions taken the day following final enactment.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginASSISTANCE FRAUD.
new text end

new text begin Any person who, with the intent to defraud, presents a claim under section 4 or applies
for protection under section 1, 2, or 4, which is false in whole or in part, is guilty of an
attempt to commit theft of public or private funds and may be sentenced accordingly.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; 2020 EMERGENCY HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.
new text end

new text begin (a) $100,000,000 in fiscal year 2020 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for transfer to the housing
development fund for the family homeless prevention and assistance program under
Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.204. The agency may use grantees of the family homeless
prevention and assistance program, under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.204, and the
grantees are preapproved to distribute money under this section. Notwithstanding the
requirements of Minnesota Statutes, sections 16C.06 and 462A.204, the commissioner of
the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency shall allocate these resources to existing grantees
and contract with other entities that are not current grantees based on homelessness prevention
needs. Entities may include counties, cities, nonprofit organizations, tribes, or other entities
the agency identifies. For purposes of this emergency appropriation, nonprofits do not need
to obtain sponsoring resolutions from counties as required under Minnesota Statutes, section
462A.204, subdivision 3. This appropriation is onetime and available until February 1, 2021.
Funds not committed or expended by February 1, 2021, shall cancel to the general fund.
new text end

new text begin (b) Funding under this section shall be for individuals, families, and homeowners in
Minnesota to prevent homelessness and help maintain homeownership during
public-health-related emergencies consistent with the requirements of this section. The
commissioner may contract with county agencies, local governments, tribes, or nonprofit
organizations to provide funding and support services to process applications for funding
under this program. To be eligible for funding, applicants must:
new text end

new text begin (1) have a public-health-related emergency as defined in this section;
new text end

new text begin (2) have a rent payment, mortgage payment, homeowner association dues, lot rent due
to a manufactured home park, contract for deed payment, homeowner insurance payment,
property tax payment, or utility payment with a due date of March 1, 2020, or later, that is
past due;
new text end

new text begin (3) be unable to pay the money owed because of the public health emergency; and
new text end

new text begin (4) be a household, with a current gross income at or below 300 percent of the federal
poverty guidelines at the time of application or as averaged over the previous 12 months,
whichever is lower.
new text end

new text begin (c) If an applicant applies for relief from sources other than the 2020 emergency housing
assistance grants and receives aid for the purposes of paying for housing, the applicant must
immediately notify the granting agency. Applicants may receive funding for rent, a mortgage,
homeowner association dues, contract for deed payment owed to a seller, homeowner
insurance or property tax payment owed for their home, rent due for a manufactured home,
or utility payment owed with a due date of March 1, 2020, or later, that is due within 14
days of the application or which are up to 45 days past due at the time of application.
new text end

new text begin (d) Once an application is approved, the assistance file may remain open to allow for
consideration of additional future assistance needs under this funding program resulting
from the public health emergency. The financial assistance provided for any individual or
family must not exceed the minimum payments owed.
new text end

new text begin (e) Funding under this section must be paid directly to:
new text end

new text begin (1) the landlord or leasing agent for a rental unit;
new text end

new text begin (2) the financial service for a mortgage or the entity who owns the mortgage for a
homeowner;
new text end

new text begin (3) the contract for deed vendor or seller;
new text end

new text begin (4) the purchase-money mortgagor;
new text end

new text begin (5) the manufactured home park cooperative, manufactured home owner, or park owner;
new text end

new text begin (6) the utility company; or
new text end

new text begin (7) any other identified entity to whom payment is owed.
new text end

new text begin (f) The commissioner may develop applications for the program and a process to oversee
grantees.
new text end

new text begin (g) Data submitted from benefits by an applicant to establish eligibility under this section
is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 13.462.
new text end

new text begin (h) By October 15, 2021, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency must submit a report
to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction
over housing finance with a summary of the performance of this program. To the extent
practicable, the report must contain the following information:
new text end

new text begin (1) the total number of applications received by grantees and the number of individuals
who would be assisted under this program;
new text end

new text begin (2) the total number of grants awarded to grantees and the number of individuals assisted
under this program;
new text end

new text begin (3) the total amount of grant funding awarded to grantees and individuals assisted under
this program;
new text end

new text begin (4) the mean and median grant amounts awarded to grantees and individuals assisted
under this program;
new text end

new text begin (5) a summary of the geographic distribution of grants awarded under this program; and
new text end

new text begin (6) a list of all entities contracted with to process applications under this program.
new text end

new text begin (i) For the purposes of this section, "public-health-related emergency" means:
new text end

new text begin (1) an illness, either of an individual or an individual's relative or household member,
related to COVID-19 that prevents the individual from maintaining employment temporarily
or permanently;
new text end

new text begin (2) the household is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and has
experienced a reduction in income or temporary or permanent unemployment due to local,
state, or federal actions related to COVID-19; or
new text end

new text begin (3) the household is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and has
experienced a reduction in income by 25 percent or more, or temporary or permanent
unemployment due to local, state, or federal actions related to COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end