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An Open Letter to City Officials

Dear City Official:

I am a property owner and manager of 50 plus North Minneapolis properties, singles and doubles. You have consistently been critical of landlord screening of potential renters. My question to you is, what suggestions do you have for landlords like myself who work and reside on the Northside?

Recently, I ran an ad for rental properties. The response was overwhelming. More than one hundred calls came in on this one ad. Ninety percent of the calls were from black females. After using Rental Research at a cost of $30.00 per application to screen potential renters, we found that most had bad credit and 90% had out-of-state Social Security cards and were being supported by various types of subsidized government programs including SSI, food stamps, Section 8, and General Assistance.

These are the types of people flooding into our area from all over the country because of the liberal welfare benefits that are being offered to people in our state. If I do not rent to this type of tenant - the only people I really have to choose from - where do they end up? In shelters at taxpayer expense as usual.

I do not receive any calls from whites or suburbanites to live in this area. They have better options. Lest you think I am a racist, 90% of my tenants are black. Since these are the only people I have to choose from to rent, I resent the fact that North Minneapolis homeowners and police consider me a slumlord because I rent to these people.

My properties are not the problem. The people that I and other landlords have to choose from are the problem. When good homeowners, the 4th Ward alderman Alice Rainville, and the police continually complain about the problems arising from renting to problem tenants, I make an effort to evict these tenants only to have my application denied after considerable time and expense by the liberal Hennepin County housing court.

Please suggest a solution. I do not care to rent to bad people who are a problem to the community. I live here, too. But I ask you, what choices do I have? Thank you.

Sincerely,

Howard Gangestad
President of Recife and Rio Hot Properties

P.S. Many of my renters are very poor but good people.

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