Over the course of 14 years at 3121 Pleasant Ave., Mrs. Dominguez paid rent to two owners later stripped of their rental licenses, saw rent increase from a third owner and worked with Legal Aid to take a fourth landlord to court. In 2018, she joined other tenants renting from Villa Nova Real Estate Holdings to tell Hennepin Housing Court about daily cockroach sightings, leaky windows, a unit with two layers of wet carpet, an intruder entering an unlockable window and a mold investigator whose hair became damp inside a humid apartment. Dominguez said she still gets a court-ordered $200 monthly reduction in rent, because although the windows were replaced, she’s still waiting for other repairs a year later.
Now the affordable housing nonprofit Aeon has purchased her building, along with 15 other apartment complexes, with a commitment to keep rents affordable for the long term. Given her experience, Dominguez is cautious.
“I want to wait and see,” said Dominguez, who works with Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia (United Renters for Justice) and, speaking through a translator, requested her first name not be printed. “We would like it that they don’t raise the rent, especially not year after year. And we also want to make sure that when we call, repairs are made.”
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