Minneapolis tenants protest rising rental costs

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Tenants in Minneapolis are fighting back over rising rental costs, as they feel they’re being priced out of their homes.

On Monday, more than than a dozen tenants gathered to protest outside a Nexus Real Estate Services office in south Minneapolis. 

“I think the way they treat us and the housing is not right,” said tenant Flore Martinez.

On the first of the month, residents living in the apartments saw their rent increase between $150 and $180 a month.

Flore Martinez has lived in this two-bedroom apartment with her 10-year-old son for four years.

“I’m a single mother and it’s hard for me to pay the rent and pay the utilities and bills that I have,” she said.

Before the rent increase, Martinez, who has two jobs, says that she was paying around $775 a month.
Facing a hike of about $160, she says her rent would become unaffordable.

“I think that it’s okay to have a rent increase when in other places they increase rent $25 dollars, $50 - the increase they give to us, $160 dollars, is a lot of money.”

Nexus provided Fox 9 with a letter dated in August, which states that the rent hike is a result of a $2 million plan to invest in repairs and improvements.

In response to the rally, Nexus released a statement that reads in part, “over 75 percent of tenants signed a new lease. Unfortunately, the political agenda of outside groups has created a disruptive community for the majority of the residents who raise families and live in these properties."

As tenants call on the management company to compromise, many sent in payments that aren’t reflective  of the new rent hike.

“We cannot pay that. We are willing to pay what we can, but the money they are asking us is a lot,” Martinez said.