May 21, 2024

The Justice Department announced today it filed a complaint and proposed consent decree to resolve allegations that the city of Anoka, Minnesota, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act by denying tenants with mental health disabilities an equal opportunity to receive emergency assistance. Under Anoka’s rental licensing and “crime free” housing ordinance, the city can penalize landlords for “nuisance calls” to their properties. Nuisance calls include disorderly conduct and “unfounded” calls to the police. The department previously issued a letter of findings stating that, when tenants with mental health disabilities and those associated with them (like their families or landlords) request or receive emergency assistance, they risk eviction, fines or loss of a rental license because of the nuisance ordinance. Under the proposed consent decree, the city has agreed to compensate individuals harmed; end its practice of publicizing the disability, medical and health information of individuals with mental health disabilities; adopt non-discrimination policies and complaint procedures; and other corrective measures.

Individuals who believe they were harmed by the City’s “crime-free” housing program may be entitled to compensation under the settlement fund and should contact the Justice Department at or by calling the toll-free number 888-473-3940. To learn more, please read the press release. For more information on the ADA, please visit or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TTY 833-610-1264).