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December 21, 2022

Staff began reporting the PHA’s Rent Recovery efforts to the Board in February 2021, when it was observed that both the number of households owing delinquent rent and the total amount of rent owed had been consistently increasing for several months.  Since then the PHA has received over $3 million in rental assistance resulting mostly from federal funding awarded to the State of Minnesota (paid to the PHA through “RentHelpMN”) and Ramsey County (“Zero Balance Project”).  With that assistance and an increase in tenant payment rates, the total amount of delinquent rent owed to the PHA by residents went down from a high of $1,056,058 in October 2021 to $508,091 at the beginning of December 2022.   Unfortunately, the PHA cannot waive any rent due to it.  HUD has stated that rent is still due during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accumulate if unpaid, and that no PHA-sponsored debt forgiveness or amnesty programs are authorized.  

The delinquent rent owed, sales and service fees owed and the number of households owing delinquent rent and/or sales and services fees all decreased compared to last month. 






Total Delinquent Rent Owed




Total Households Owing




Sales and Service Fees





The PHA has received no additional emergency rental assistance payments since last month, so these decreases are attributed to an increase in tenant payments resulting from the uptick in lease enforcement actions.  Staff are cautiously optimistic that the total delinquent rent owed will continue to trend downward as it has for the past four months, however all three measures remain substantially higher than pre-pandemic norms, and it is difficult to predict what will happen in light of emergency rental assistance programs ending.

While the PHA’s goal is to obtain payment and promote successful tenancies, the large delinquent rent balance along with the decrease in available rental assistance have led staff to increase their focus on lease enforcement activities.  Since October 2021 staff have sent 5,596 30-day notices of lease termination to households owing rent.  As of December 6, 2022 staff had not filed any additional eviction actions for unpaid rent beyond the 122 evictions filed since the eviction moratorium began to phase out.  The last eviction actions were filed in November 2022, and staff will evaluate further potential eviction actions later this month.

On October 6, 2022 Ramsey County Housing Court administrators announced special court dates for eviction actions filed between October 8 and December 2, 2022.  Additional court dates were recently added for January and February 2023.  These court dates were established in order to eliminate the backlog of evictions and reduce the wait time between filing and the first court appearance, with roughly 200 cases set on each date.  Court administrators anticipate that they will be able to return to normal operations without a backlog by February 2023. 

PHA staff worked diligently throughout the pandemic to assist residents who were struggling to pay rent, with all COVID-related eviction protections expiring June 1, 2022.  Staff collectively spent over 4,000 hours helping nearly 700 residents apply for assistance to avoid eviction, resulting in the PHA receiving a total of $3,075,834 in rental assistance.  All COVID emergency rental assistance providers stopped accepting applications months ago and stopped issuing funds in November 2022. 

The PHA Legal Team, Resident Services and Finance Department staff continue to coordinate in order to identify residents who have not responded to previous notices, and to prepare to file additional eviction action proceedings in Ramsey County Housing Court when necessary.  PHA staff continue to work diligently to avoid evictions, while upholding the Agency’s fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers who provide deep subsidies that make PHA-owned housing affordable to families with very low incomes. 


Jon Gutzmann


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