Most Minnesotans who have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic do not need to worry about losing their housing after the nationwide ban on evictions ended at midnight Saturday.

State leaders recently passed an eviction moratorium "off-ramp," which phases out the halt on evictions that Gov. Tim Walz instituted last year.

"I want renters to understand that the end of the federal eviction moratorium does not affect Minnesotans. Minnesota has its own timeline," Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho said in a statement, urging property owners and renters to work together to apply for emergency assistance. "We have the funds to help pay back rent and three months of future rent."

The state and local governments have received about $672 million to help people with housing expenses and have been encouraging residents to apply for the dollars through As of Friday, Minnesotans had requested $196 million in assistance, and officials had distributed nearly $27 million in aid.

The end to the federal moratorium, which was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has drawn condemnation from some Democratic lawmakers in Washington, D.C. It follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed the eviction halt to continue through July 31.

About 3.6 million people in the country are facing eviction in the next few months, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey with data as of July 5.

But Minnesotans who have applied for the federal help and are eligible for it will be protected from evictions until June 1, 2022. Those who have not paid their rent and do not qualify for the aid could be evicted starting Sept. 12.

However, renters in Minnesota currently can be evicted for a material violation of their lease that is not related to payment, such as smoking in a nonsmoking unit or having a pet in an apartment where it is not allowed. They also can be removed if they qualify for federal rental assistance but refuse to apply for it.

Jessie Van Berkel • 651-925-5044