After a year-long moratorium, the Robbinsdale City Council made new indications on what crime-free housing will now look like in the city.

The crime-free ordinance, adopted in the 2010s, allowed city officials to issue penalties to landlords and revoke rental licenses if criminal or nuisance activity occurred on the landlord’s property.

The moratorium passed Oct. 20 last year on a 3-2 council vote upon request by the Human Rights Commission. Commission members wanted the city to be designated an equitable residential property city. During the moratorium, the city attorney was asked to review the ordinance for instances of discrimination.

At the time, City Manager Marcia Glick said enforcement of the ordinance had largely shifted to a priority of outreach and mediation between landlords and tenants.

The first reading of the new ordinance, which was approved unanimously Oct. 5, included a few changes and clarifications. A definition for “criminal activity” was deleted, as was a requirement that tenants sign a lease addendum specifically outlining the city’s crime free/drug free housing policies. The definition of “excessive calls” to police was lowered from a four-call threshold to three calls.

According to agenda documents, the city attorney’s office reasoned that the changes will better reflect the ordinance’s main purpose: “to hold rental property owners responsible for conditions at their properties with potential of license suspension and revocation.”

The ordinance requires a second reading to go into effect. View the proposed changes in full at bit.ly/2WVsG4T.

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