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Plaintiffs’ Public Housing Claims Move Forward in Minneapolis

On January 3, 2023, Minnesota District Judge Patrick D. Robben ruled largely in favor of Plaintiffs Kimberly Lowry and Jeanne Harris when he denied, in part, a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Landlord Defendants Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (“MPHA”) and Community Housing Resources (“CHR”) brought the motion in Lowry v. City of Minneapolis, et. al, Case No. 27-CV-21-10928, filed in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District Court. While Judge Robben dismissed Plaintiffs’ Consumer Fraud Act and Deceptive Trade Practices Act claims, Plaintiffs’ claims under common law breach of contract, the Minneapolis Housing Maintenance Code, and the State Statutory Covenant of Habitability all survived and will proceed to discovery. Plaintiffs’ claims against the City of Minneapolis for denial of public services under the Minnesota Human Rights Act remain in the case as well.

Plaintiffs’ class action against MPHA, CHR, and the City of Minneapolis challenges alleged discrimination faced by public housing tenants due to their deteriorated and substandard housing conditions. The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants discriminated on the basis of “public assistance status” by failing to provide public housing tenants the City mandated inspection, licensing, and related public services that the City provides to tenants in privately-owned rental dwellings, and that the public housing defendants failed to provide City-licensed and inspected, code-compliant rental housing.

“This decision ensures that Minneapolis public housing tenants, currently living in dangerous and substandard conditions, are one step closer to their day in court,” said one of Plaintiffs’ attorneys, Nicole J. Schladt of Nichols Kaster, PLLP.

Plaintiffs are represented by Anna P. Prakash and Nicole J. Schladt of Nichols Kaster, PLLP; John R. Shoemaker and Paul F. Shoemaker of Shoemaker & Shoemaker, PLLC; and Larry McDonough.

Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash