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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Residents fight against Dominium’s 8 percent hike, citing St. Paul’s rent controls

Katherine Banbury’s rent had increased by $90 a month even before she signed her first lease. In 2018, Banbury was living in Wisconsin and hoping to move into Dominium’s new Cambrick Apartments, marketed as attractive, HUD-supported affordable housing on St. Paul’s East Seventh Street. Based on the income threshold, Dominium would take approximately three weeks to complete the means-tests to determine if she was eligible.

When she came to sign her lease, she found that the price had gone up. But Banbury, a yoga instructor and healthy food chef, had already made plans to move to St. Paul. She felt locked inside.

“I’ve lived here for over four years, and it’s a revolving door,” said Banbury, who has seen a lot of fed-up neighbors in “Section 42″—federally regulated rentals go away. Huh. “It’s like taking candy from a kid. You have to be resource-tested to get here, and they’ve raised the fare by about 30 percent since I’ve been here. They say it’s cheap.”

Some of those rent increases occurred at the start of the pandemic or within its two-year lease, drawing the ire of St. Paul-based legal advocates. Lawyers for the Housing Justice Center successfully contested the increase within the term of its lease, but there is yet another rent increase.

It would increase his rent by 8 percent, which is more than double what is allowed under St. Paul’s new rent control ordinance, unless a property owner can prove the exception is required. Banbury, Cambrick and Union Flats, represented by the Housing Justice Center, is set to make their case on behalf of all tenants of a Dominium apartment building in a public appeals hearing Tuesday, July 19 at St. On Hampden Avenue in St. Paul.

Under the city’s new voter-approved ordinance, rent increases must be limited to 3 percent, unless a property owner can justify a large increase through documentation, such as rising operating costs or a recent redeploy. to prepare. And there is no evidence that the cambric has been redone. “In all eight Dominium buildings in St. Paul, they’re demanding an 8 percent increase, and that’s insane,” Banbury said. “They didn’t do anything in this building, nothing. We’ve messed up our workout machines since December.”

Ownership blames inflation

Dominium spokesman Khary Duckett confirmed that the company is seeking an 8 percent increase across the board in St. Paul and 12.5 percent in other parts of both the East and West Metro, but added that the company is working within the maximum increase. . Allowed by HUD and the city itself. St. Paul allows landlords to “self-certify” the required increase of between 3 and 8 percent without a formal review hearing.

Dominium’s biggest expenses, metro-wide, have been property taxes, insurance, utilities and “bad debt,” or unpaid rent, he said.

“The city provided the process to calculate the allowable fare increase,” Duckett said. “Our calculations show that we are entitled to an over 8 percent rent increase, but for the best business sense, for the city employees and the time of our employees, we believe that at that time we have Submission of 8 per cent meant the most for the submission of applications.”

Dominium, a for-profit Plymouth-based housing provider, describes itself as the fourth largest provider of affordable housing in the country, and is widely used by elected officials to combine attractive low-income senior housing, artist housing and mixed-income apartments. is celebrated. Buildings in cities across the country. It is also known for its historic restorations of properties such as the A-Mill Artist Lofts in Minneapolis and the former Schmidt Brewery in St.

At Fort Snelling’s Upper Post, the company has received support from Hennepin County to renovate more than 20 historic buildings into affordable housing for veterans. It operates eight sites and 1,400 units of accommodation in St. Paul alone.

In recent months, enthusiasm has waned, and some state lawmakers have openly described Dominium’s practices as unforgivable for vulnerable populations.

World Nation News Desk
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