Minneapolis 911 Mix-Up Leaves Renters in the Cold

Updated: 01/21/2013 7:51 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

Minneapolis 911 dispatchers gave out some misinformation to renters who lost heat in the frigid weather, according to a city councilmember. 

The city welcomes 911 calls when tenants lose heat in extremely cold conditions. City Councilmember Gary Schiff tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there were renters in his ward who contacted him after 911 dispatchers told them they couldn't offer help until Tuesday, after Martin Luther King Jr Day. Schiff says that was not the correct information.

Schiff says he contacted the Fire Marshall who then got in touch with 911 emergency dispatchers and clarified the matter. Schiff says renters can call 911 any time, day or night, to report a loss of heat in bad winter weather. Schiff says the mix up has now been corrected and 911 is telling tenants there will be help as soon as it is available. Schiff says exceptions to the cold weather are not just for renters.

Schiff says homeless shelters are not supposed to turn people away when the weather gets dangerously cold. Schiff says renters, and those who need a place to stay, need to be aware of their rights and what is available to them when the weather gets like it is now. Schiff says renters, and anyone who knows someone living as a tenant, should call 911 so the city can properly address their needs.