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New York Times backs Keith Ellison’s bill to protect renters

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The New York Times editorial page gave a shout-out today to Rep. Keith Ellison D-Minn., commending a bill that he has introduced, which seeks to protect renters if their landlords are facing foreclosure.

Ellison’s bill would require a 90-day notice before eviction and would permit renters to stay in their residences through the terms of their leases in certain cases.

“It is simply wrong when hardworking families who have played by the rules are being kicked out of their homes without any warning,” Ellison said at the time that he introduced the legislation. ” Although they [renters] were not the ones who caused the current crisis, they are suffering the consequences by being treated as collateral damage.  This is unacceptable.”

The Times determined that Ellison’s “legislation would be good for renting families, which have been unfairly penalized by this crisis.”

Some Hennepin County officials agree.

“Very early on, we recognized the impact [of the foreclosure crisis] on renters and tenants in Hennepin County,” said Jill Alverson, Hennepin County auditor/treasurer. “We have seen that at least 40 percent of the foreclosures, if not higher, were residential rental properties. So the number of renters that have been affected by this has been of great concern.”

In 2008, there were 7,348 foreclosures in the county, according to Alverson.

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