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HPP advocacy saves 118 units of Section 8 housing
02.26.2010 - HPP

In 2008, an owner of 4 Section 8 projects (118 units total) scattered through Greater Minnesota announced his intention to opt out of the Section 8 program and convert to market rate housing.  Minnesota Housing attempted to induce the owner to reconsider by offering financial incentives to stay in the program, but the owner rejected the incentives.  HPP reviewed the case, and advised Minnesota Housing there were several legal issues with what the owner was trying to do, but the agency declined to pursue those issues, believing the properties were lost.  HPP pursued the matter, however, writing to the owner on behalf of the tenants, raising a host of legal challenges to the owner’s opt-out plans.  HPP suggested to the owner that rather than face a lawsuit, he consider selling his properties to a non-profit organization committed to keeping them in the Section 8 program.  The owner finally relented, and initiated negotiations with a nonprofit purchaser.  While those negotiations eventually fell through (due to problems with the low income housing tax credit program), the owner had got the message—he’s now entered into long term contracts under the Section 8 program, ensuring these properties will remain available for low income households.