Eagan Man Sues St. Paul On Housing Enforcement
An Eagan property owner filed a federal lawsuit Friday against St. Paul officials for violating fair housing laws, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Robert McCampbell, 52, alleged that city officials are violating housing laws by trying to reduce the number of low-income rental units, which has had an impact in minorities such as African-Americans. He says that officials are illegally shutting down apartments with minority tenants by using the by using the building code enforcement system. The lawsuit states that repeated building inspections and condemnations raised costs and drove out low-income tenants.
McCampbell owns two apartment buildings in the Payne/Phalen neighborhood between 2001-2006, with most of his tenants being minorities, according to the <u>Pioneer Press. McCampbell alleged that city officials made it seem like the minority tenants were not welcome in St. Paul and made racist comments toward them
In the lawsuit McCampbell claims that Andy Dawkins, the director of the city's Neighborhood Housing and Property Improvement department from, "strongly suggested in 2005 to low-income landlords that the bottom tier of tenants should be eliminated from St. Paul." (Star Tribune)
Dawkins denied treating tenants different based on race, saying that he is only trying to hold landlords accountable for keeping their buildings up to code.