Dozens of families in North Minneapolis received an early surprise gift this Christmas from the City of Minneapolis in the form of an eviction notice that could render some homeless as soon as February 28.
Over 50 of Mahmood Khan’s rental homes in Minneapolis were given the notice in November, but many of the families living in them were not surprised that Khan’s rental licenses had finally been revoked.
“There are a lot of maintenance problems,” shared Tacara, one of Khan’s current tenants, “I moved here one year ago, in 2016, [and it’s like] you know about something, but you don’t know about it.”
Along with Tacara, many families have been, and still are, experiencing countless maintenance issues at their homes, racking up to thousands of violations under Khan’s name.
Tenants who learned about the situation early, are feeling liberated at the fact that Khan had lost his licenses, but many are devastated due to the idea that they may be forced to leave their homes in a few months.
Kristel Porter, Cleveland Neighborhood Association Executive Director, began knocking door-to-door, to make sure families were aware of the situation and knew how to protect themselves from the poorly designed case.
According to Porter, dozens of tenants are now working with several lawyers from legal aid to build up a case against Khan in response to the revocation.
“I was able to save some people from paying rent,” said Porter, “there were some people that I couldn’t get to who had already paid their rent even though Mahmood Khan was not legally allowed to take rent.”
Due to the fact that the rental homes were designed by Khan to be “affordable housing” opportunities for families, the majority of the current tenants have low paying jobs and are struggling to find a home to move into following scheduled eviction.
Porter also shared that some of the local Northside organizations and community members had been attending meetings to help find new homes for Khan’s tenants, and to help the families get through the holidays.
“We had put together a party,” said Porter, “we were able to gather some resources, and we went out to purchase presents for every kid and every adult who RSVP’d.”
Like Tacara, many of the families were given a sign of hope when the party took place, and can now feel a sense of motivation for the rest of the year without worrying too much about what their next steps are.
Fortunately, the holiday party was not the only good news the families received because the City of Minneapolis had decided to work at helping the families by extending their stay until a more permanent solution is concocted.
Lighthouse Management Group, a consulting firm in the Upper Midwest that focuses on finding solutions for companies that are in crisis, was brought on as the administrators to handle the homes in North Minneapolis, in hopes of being able to help the families stay in their homes longer.
Before February 28, the Lighthouse Management Group team will be working with the staff at Urban Homeworks to collect rent, schedule inspections and help families figure out the situation on what to do.
Although the appointing of the Lighthouse Management Group and Urban Homeworks has already been decided, threats of families still having to vacate their homes continue to float in the air as no clear decision has been announced to the tenants as to what would happen after February 28.
“They’re still in the process of figuring out the next steps,” said Porter, “what they [Lighthouse Management Group and Urban Homeworks] will be doing is fixing up the properties while the tenants are there, in hopes of extending the stay for families.”
Residents are hopeful that the City of Minneapolis will be able to help lengthen their stay, and for someone to step up and manage the homes to continue the rent for the current residents.
Coming this spring, families can look forward to the situation turning around as local organizations such as the Cleveland Neighborhood Association (clevelandneighborhood.org) will be working to right the wrong and help families who were renting from Mahmood Khan.