Senator Susan Pha Applauds Passage of Tenants’ Rights Bill in Minnesota Senate

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Monday, April 8, the Minnesota Senate passed the Tenants’ Rights Omnibus Bill, co-authored by Senator Susan Pha (DFL – Brooklyn Park). Included in the bill was a provision authored by Sen. Pha which expands on existing statute to ensure tenants have the right to seek emergency assistance, specifically including mental health crises. 

The issue stems from a series of incidents regarding a multi-housing program in a Minnesota city. The city shared weekly reports with landlords for over five years that included sensitive medical information of tenants who called the city for emergency services. In at least 780 cases, reports included details regarding mental health crises, in some cases including specific details of suicide attempts. 

Further, the city authorized landlords to penalize tenants for calls to emergency services, and in some cases imposed fines or revoked rental licenses if a landlord failed to file an eviction action against a tenant who made multiple emergency calls or who otherwise violated the local ordinance. In 2023, the Dept. of Justice found that the city’s policy was in violation of the ADA and the Fair Housing Act.

“When there is an emergency of any kind, Minnesotans need to have access to emergency services without the fear of penalty and eviction,” said Senator Susan Pha. “Over the last decade, mental health has become a major focus of the legislature. It flies in the face of our work to penalize someone for calling emergency services while in the midst of a mental health crisis. Today’s bill moves us towards a more just and supportive system for some of the most vulnerable Minnesotans, no matter if they are a renter or a homeowner.”

SF 3942 passed 37-29 and now awaits consideration on the floor of the Minnesota House. 

Senator Susan Pha represents Senate District 38 which includes Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Osseo. She is vice chair of the Capital Investment Committee and also serves on the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Committee.

Learn more about Sen. Pha.
Senator Susan Pha on EmailSenator Susan Pha on Twitter