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City Hallways (Sept. 15) Shoreline tenants anxious over Norstar plans

"Atmosphere of fear"

It was back in May when Shoreline owner Norstar told tenants they must leave their Niagara Street apartments by Nov. 1 because the outdated buildings would be torn down and replaced. But then a state housing official announced Norstar couldn't move forward until a tenant relocation plan was submitted to state housing officials, and approved.

Nervous residents in the low-income complex - many of whom who say they've been unable to find alternative housing they can afford - expected written confirmation that they would no longer be forced out by  Nov. 1, said tenant leader John Schmidt. That letter finally came a few  days ago, Schmidt told a Common Council committee earlier  this week.

A Norstar official attending the meeting said no one has been forced to leave.

Forty-five people have left, but it was  voluntary, the official said.

"There were not  forced out," he said.

As he spoke, a sigh could be heard among  Shoreline residents in the audience, who earlier told Council members that tenants left because they feared eventually being forced out.

"There's an atmosphere of fear," Schmidt told the Council.

How hot was it?
Hot enough that total attendance at the city's outdoor swimming pools this summer - from July 1 through Labor Day - was 76,578, which is 11,000 more than it was in 2015, according to  Mayor Brown's communications office.

Today's Calendar Items

BMHA commissioners meeting today.

Housekeeping: City Hallways is taking a few days off. Be back sometime next week. Meanwhile, enjoy these final days of summer.

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