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Landlord files federal complaint against St. Paul

City of St. Paul
City of St. Paul

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A company that owns 17 low-income apartments in St. Paul has filed a federal complaint against the city.

Raven Financial is challenging the city's right to demolish the rentals or force housing improvements.

The premise, which has been repeated by several landlords since at least 2004 in various courts, is that strict code enforcement makes it too expensive to provide affordable housing to the poor.

The complaint was filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against St. Paul, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Payne-Phalen District 5 Planning Council.

The landlord is challenging the city's order in early 2013 to either improve or tear down a six-bedroom duplex.

City officials say many properties in the latest complaint have been notorious problems.