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Friday, September 28, 2007

City threatens to revoke rental license

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12 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

City threatens to revoke rental license; owners sue
It's the latest in an ongoing fight between Brooklyn Center and Center Pointe apartments.

By Lora Pabst, Star Tribune

Last update: September 25, 2007 – 11:25 AM

A longstanding dispute over the conditions at the Center Pointe apartment complex in Brooklyn Center now has the city threatening to revoke the property's rental license and the owners filing a lawsuit against the city.

The property, located across the street from Brookdale Center, has been at the center of a controversy about affordable housing, racial discrimination and dilapidated properties for more than five years.

The partnership that owns the complex and two brothers who have an ownership interest in that partnership filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court on Sept. 12 against the city of Brooklyn Center, two police officers, the city attorney and his law firm and 10 anonymous police officers or city officials.

The brothers contend that the city is intentionally targeting the complex because of its low-income minority tenants, while the city claims it is enforcing housing and code laws fairly to maintain safe properties for all residents.

Norman Baer, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said they filed the lawsuit because the City Council is considering revoking their rental license. Baer also said the brothers, Hyder Jaweed and Asgher Ali, were reacting to housing and code violation charges that the city brought against them.

Jaweed and Ali should not be held individually responsible for violations because the complex is owned by the partnership -- Brooklyn Center Leased Housing Associates Limited Partnership -- not the brothers, Baer said.

A similar lawsuit and threat of license revocation occurred a few years ago but were resolved in a 2002 settlement between the parties. When the settlement ended in 2005, Baer said the problems began again.

Clifford Greene, attorney for the city and the two officers named in the suit, said the officials involved were just doing their job to maintain safe housing.

"The city won't be intimidated in enforcing the law by a landlord's separate action," Greene said. "I think that when all the facts come out, it will be the city and not the landlord who is aligned with the rights of the tenants."

Mona Langston, a policy advocate for the nonprofit law firm Housing Preservation Project, has worked with tenants at Center Pointe and heard concerns about repairs from non-working smoke detectors to broken security doors. They have worked with the city and the owners of the building to ensure that the affordable housing is maintained.

"That might mean today we're fighting the landlord and tomorrow we're fighting the city," she said. "But, we need to make sure the tenants have a safe, habitable place to live."

Greene said the allegations of discrimination are unfounded and that "the code violations will speak for themselves in court."

With all the legal actions surrounding the complex, Langston said the rights of the tenants should not be forgotten.

"We don't want to leave these tenants in the position where two or three years down the road, we're back revisiting the issue again," she said.

Lora Pabst • 612-673-4628


Lora Pabst • lpabst@startribune.com

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Harold can live there?

Tell my mama what Harold still waiting?

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they all move to St Paul and bring all their problems with them. Maybe Harold, Chuck and Eric would like to put these pillars of the community up for a few decades until they get back on their feet.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get rid of the nest and you get rid of the critter, right Eric?

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Bill Bong said...

WHy hasn't anoyone blamed Repke yet? You people are slipping....

8:04 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

Okay, this is a city with disparity when it comes to THEIR code enforcement.

My brother lives in Brooklyn Park. There is a vacant house across the street from him. The heat was shut off, but not the water, and the house flooded.

He called the city
...nothing happened. So he forgot about it, until months later he noticed something wrong with the windows in the house across the street.

He walked over to investigate and tried to look through the windows...which were virtually covered in mold.

He saw the ceiling caving in, and black mold entirely covering the walls.

He made another phone call...this time to the Board of Public Health. They did something and a few hours later an inspector arrived, who called the city to have the water shut off from the street.

When the inspector opened the front door, the odor inside the house, which was hot, steamy and great, nearly knocked over the inspector.

Well, the house is no longer has the water pouring inside the house, but it is still standing there, just barely...and the mold now completely covers the windows...nice decorative touch..no need for blinds.

Evidently the City of Brooklyn park isn't too concerned about "code compliance" or an extreme "public health" hazard...at least not in my brother's neighborhood.

Nancy Lazaryan

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They probably would like to confer with Repke, but they probably can't afford him so they just go ahead and do a hatchet job on it with some cracker jack city attorney. Either that or they will wqit till the time is just right to "bring in the ringer," and presto.....Repke will walk in the door talking whatever shit they want to hear.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are not concerned in your brothers neighborhood Nancy cause there's no black people living there.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

Anonymous at 10:03:
Wrong, it's a "mixed" neighborhood.

Nancy Lazaryan

10:08 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

The whole minority discrimination claim will be used by slumlords across the nation because the Federal Code has specific language on housing and racial discrimination. It's there for people like Ed on the other thread. Its also been used against cities and won in places like Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston and Philadelphia.

The difference is that the plantiffs were able to show a direct pattern between targeted enforcement and the victims.

Brooklyn Center has a major race problem. Its diverse in race and income but, it could use a lesson on tolerance. More blacks that I know who look to own in the northern burbs are more apt to go to Brooklyn Park where you have more entry level homes (townhomes and condos)that are newer. I lived in Maple Grove and owned a townhome that I rented out until I realized I wasn't cut out for the rental business (I didn't blame or sue anyone, I sold my property).

That particular complex in Brooklyn Center I know of. Its a dump. Not just a bad looking low-income set of apartments but, a true barely-functioning dump. It will be interesting to see the nature and detail of the discrimination charge versus the code violations.

I would advise the city to settle by paying a market value price for the property, paying for relocation and three months rent for the tenants who stay in Brooklyn Center. Then, they need to establish a civil rights or citizens review commission because that city is headed for some serious problems.

Saint Paul is not Brooklyn Center.

Eric

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a direct pattern will be shown in St Paul Eric....in fact, that,s just the start of it!

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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There are lots of things you could have been, could have done, could have seen, could have known, and could have experienced. Yet nothing compares to the wondrous places you'll go when you do what you know you can.

8:56 AM  

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