Education, Transportation & Housing

Education 

Below are links to all public school websites with information on distance learning guidelines, meal distribution, emergency child care, and more updates:

As we continue with distance learning I wanted to make sure you are aware of these two educational resources available that provide a wide range of academic materials. The Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress offers information for students of all ages and are two of our nation’s preeminent academic institutions, below are the link guides to the institutions.

Transportation

Beginning Monday May 18th face coverings are required on buses and trains. You can learn more about this requirement here.

If you’re an essential health worker you can receive free transportation from Metro Mobility, you can find out more information on how to do so here.

Beginning Saturday April 18th Metro Transit will suspend all nightly light rail service between 9 pm and 6 am. The only exception is the Metro Blue Line airport shuttle between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 stations will continue to operate overnight.  You can learn more information here.  

As of Wednesday, March 25th, Metro Transit has begun a reduced service schedule for bus and Light Rail in response to the sharp decline in ridership, and in order to focus resources on where they are needed to provide critical travel during this pandemic. More information on the reduced schedule for specific metro lines and routes can be found here.

With Metro Transit reducing its services, Nice Ride Minnesota is offering free bikeshare membership for critical healthcare workers, you can learn more information about the program and where to register here. For more information on COVID-19 transportation related visit here

Housing

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has implemented an immediate moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for 60 days.

On March 23rd, Governor Walz issued an executive order suspending evictions proceedings and writs of recovery for the duration of the Minnesota peacetime emergency. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) has Covid-19 updates and resources for renters and homeowners, along with information on Multifamily Grant Programs. They also have updates on the latest executive orders from Governor Walz and how they relate to housing, including answers to frequently asked questions.

On May 13th, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-53 extending the peacetime emergency 30 days until June 12th. This means the suspension of evictions (EO 20-14) currently remains in place until then. For more information on Stay Safe MN and housing resources visit:  https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/get-help/housing.jsp

  • Under the provisions of the CARES Act, individuals/landlords with federally backed mortgage loans who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can request a forbearance period by contacting their mortgage servicer. Federally backed mortgages include FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The CARES Act provides for affected borrowers to defer their mortgage payments for up to 180 days. 

  • If you are a homeowner worried about your ability to pay your mortgage, reach out to your loan servicer as soon as possible, ask for the loss mitigation department, and discuss your options. You can find the number to call on your mortgage bill.

  • A network of nonprofit Homeownership Advisors offers unbiased advice to homeowners in Minnesota to help them keep their homes. Find a Homeownership Advisor offering services in your area.

  • For legal help, call HOME Line’s tenant hotline: 612-728-5767. HOME Line’s services are available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. For more information on the executive order to halt evictions, general advice on what to do if you cannot pay rent, and a sample letter to your landlord, visit HOME Line’s website here.

  • Law Help MN has compiled FAQs and other legal resources related to COVID-19 here.

For domestic violence crisis or shelter, call Tubman (612-825-0000) or Mission Inc (763-559-4945).

If you are a tenant experiencing eviction during the peacetime emergency, please fill out AG Ellison’s Tenant Eviction Complaint Form.

Utilities and Technology 

Xcel Energy announced it will indefinitely suspend service disconnections and waive late fees when associated with COVID-19 challenges. Call 1-800-895-4999 for more information. CenterPoint Energy is doing the same for gas. Call 1-800-245-2377. USI Wireless opened their WiFi network in Minneapolis for those that may need temporary internet access. Comcast has also expanded access to internet, waiving late fees, suspending disconnects, and providing free hot spots. The City of Minneapolis is supporting efforts to address the digital divide and the technology skills gap by connecting the community with free computer training and public computer locations.

The City of Minneapolis has suspended water shut-offs. For more information on public water systems and drinking water visit: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/dwpcovid.html

For more information on how you can pay for your utilities visit: http://cubminnesota.org/covid-19/