Minneapolis low-rent landlord says city has 'curb appeal fetish'

A well-known, low-rent landlord in north Minneapolis has filed a complaint against the city of Minneapolis, accusing the city of being "obsessed with curb appeal" and wanting the north side to look like Linden Hills.

Mahmood Khan, 62, filed a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) alleging city officials don't promote affordable housing, but rather, try to eliminate it.

Khan has 63 low-income residential units at 43 rental properties. The complaint alleges the city is looking to remove his rental dwelling licenses and "force into the street, and into an impossible rental market, some 350 racial minorities and disabled persons."

On February 19, the city left notes on Khan's residents' doors and they received letters that said their landlord was no longer eligible to hold rental licenses. Khan told the Star Tribune in February that he has spent over $1 million renovating his properties, and in many cases, he's rehabbing homes that are over 100 years old. Some of his tenants try to skip paying rent and also make repair calls difficult by not granting access. He also said at the time he planned to appeal the city's action.

"City officials are obsessed with curb appeal and beautification, and this fetish comes at the expense of affordable housing for minorities, disabled persons, and other ‘protected class' members," Khan's attorney, James Heiberg, said in a statement. "Minneapolis officials want the North Side to look like Linden Hills, and immediately, as if several decades of neglect and oppression can be reversed or erased by scapegoating low-rent landlords."

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